Tornado in a Bottle




About: I am a jack of all trades and a master of none. =The world is prone to blind acceptance.= Opinions/Truths: Politeness shouldn't be faked, having no rules is a rule, just because you're an adult doesn't ...

Do you remember your 6th or 7th grade Science Class? yeah, me neither, but after some research in my "Old School Papers" I found out that we studied natural disasters, and one of them was tornadoes. First, a little information on a tornado:

"A tornado is a natural storm disaster created when a front of hot, humid air and a front of cool, dry air collide in the atmosphere. The warm air is pushed upward, which causes winds carrying water droplets to rotate into a vortex, speeding at up to 300 mph in the center. This spinning column of air and water droplets then begins to stretch between the earth and a convection cloud (made up of water droplets) to create a tornado. The water droplets form from the condensation of water vapor in the area within the funnel where there is low temperature and pressure. This makes the funnel visible to our eyes, because the large number of water droplets block out the sun's light, just like a thunder cloud." (

This little experiment shows the physical properties of a tornado on a small scale.

Step 1: Supplies

To make a Bottled Tornado, you will need the following:

- two empty 2 or 3 litre bottles (cleaned)
- water


- a tornado tube
- ducktape
- washer
- lamp oil

Step 2: Assembly

Take your clean empty bottles, and fill one 2/3 full of water. Place the other bottle (empty) on to the coupler, or use duct-tape to connect the bottles together. Your done! Its a rather brain-dead process which anyone can do, but there is some technique to it as well.

To Make the Tornado:

- Quickly invert the lower bottle (full) to the top, and with a smooth circular motion, rotate the top bottle (full) to make the tornado.

Step 3: Optional Science Part

Okay, hopefully you plan on reading this the whole way through. This is where the optional-ness comes into play. Before pouring your water into the one bottle, pour some coloured lamp oil into it, and then add the water. The oil is more dense than the water, so they separate from each other instead of combining. Thus, when the tornado commences the oil will make up most of the tornado, b/c it is more dense than the water, and will be pulled down first.

You can also change how big the hole is in between the two bottles by swapping out washers. Experiment between large holes, small holes, even squares.

Step 4: Quick Video

Heres the video:

2 People Made This Project!


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43 Discussions


1 year ago

I get the this video is privet


5 years ago on Step 4

I get a "This video is private" message.


Reply 10 years ago on Step 3

Yes, Therefor the oil would be layered beneath the layer of water.


Reply 10 years ago on Step 3

...I don't know what kind of oil you're using, but no true oil is more dense than water. Maybe it's not actually lamp oil, but some other compound?


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

yea i think you got things backwards oil is less dence thts why it floats


Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

I've never seen oil that didn't rise to the surface, despite what the media might say.


Reply 10 years ago on Step 3

Sorry but thats wrong. The oil is less dense, and the oil layer is on top of the Water. You can even see that in your own picture....


9 years ago on Step 4

haha ew.. its like a smaller version of a toilet..! haha


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Essentialy a double ended cap with a hole in the middle. You can make your own (The traditional way to do this) By taking 2 bottle caps, punching a hole through the centre of each using a nail, then glue the caps back to back , secure them together with duct tape or similar.