When I was planning my first trip to Australia, everyone was saying. “You have to tell me which way it spins.” You probably know what they were talking about. I must say, that after arriving in Australia, the direction of water spinning down the drain was the last thing I was thinking about. After all that is not the only thing opposite from Europe.
Now, after I spent few months here already, it is time to discover the truth. So which direction does the water spin in the drain? I wanted to make a video, so I can show you that. Imagine me, sitting in a bathtub with a camera pointing to the drain. How scientific feeling. Feeling like I will discover
a wheel again. I´m looking forward showing you all my scientific movie. But drains here are quite big, it just made a big grunt sound, the water spins in every direction at the same time and after 5 seconds it´s over. I´m staring at the video and I can´t decide whether it spins clockwise or opposite. The only thing I know is, that I am a lunatic making video of spinning water in the drain. So I tried to find some wisdom on the internet. You can find a lot about this issue there. All of them states, that Coriolis force is insignificant compared with gravitation, so in case of direction which water spins, it is mostly affected by the surface od bathtub and drain, not by Coriolis force. The best will by if you try it on your own. You will see if all of the drains at your home spins in the same direction. Let me know how did you go. 🙂
Thanks to that I found a lot of valuable information. At my (or your) bathtub Coriolis effect doesn´t do much, but it works pretty well in nature. For example cyclones always spins counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. That also affects the direction that tornadoes twists, 95% of all tornadoes in the northern hemisphere twists counterclockwise and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. So next time when you will be watching some catastrophic movie, have a look which directions the items in the tornado twist, the cars, roofs or cows. You will know straight away where the movie was made 🙂 Or look at the type of animals that are twisting, that may help too.
Now have a look on the other opposites you can find in Australia. As you all may know already, here you drive a car on the left side of the road. My first experiences and stories better leave for next time. Do you think you are safe if you don´t drive a car? Not at all. The left side applies to pedestrians too. So you should walk on the left side of the pavement, escalators going up are on the left side as well, you have to stand on them on the left side too. I won’t tell you how many times did I confidently step into the escalators going opposite way then I thought, to a big surprise for the person going towards me. One more “danger” that is waiting for you, is crossing the street. Everything you learn at preschool and your parents were saying to you on and on, does not gonna help you. Your autopilot checks left side first, it´s clear so just when you are about to step into the road, you slightly check the right side and out of nowhere, wzooom, car one step from you. You jump back to the pavement and from that on, it is always triple check before you step to the street. Right, left, right, left, left, right, behind, clear to go. In Sydney, someone thought how to save innocent lives and on every crossing you can find big signs: Look right! Sometimes accompany by an arrow, if you are still not sure where to look.
If that is still not enough to throw you out of balance, look at the night sky. You guessing right, the moon. When you arrive and see the moon in a shape of letter D, you may think, in a few nights I won’t have much of sleep during the full moon. Yet next day the moon is a little smaller and smaller and full moon further than before. With mixed emotions, you look up the sky and whisper. “You too?” For the mnemonic DOC (Dog comes in the room, Cat goes out) is no use in here as well.
Not only mentioning that the moon si upside down too.
So for all those reasons I would complete the name fo my favourite book from Robert Fulghum: ” All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.” – Not applicable if you move on the other side of the planet, or a large revision in your head.
PS: Next time something about the weather. Winter in July and Christmas in summer.