Thursday, May 14, 2015

Q+A NZ: Does Water Drain in a Different Direction in Southern Hemisphere?

Q: I've been told that water goes down a sink in one direction in the Northern Hemisphere and in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere. Is that true?

A: No! The origin of this myth comes from applying a scientific principle to a situation where it does not fit. The Coriolis deflection causes cyclonic systems to rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. It was inevitable that someone would suggest (without checking) that a sink should drain in a similar manner.

However, a cyclone is more than 1000 kilometers in diameter and may exist for several days. By contrast, a typical sink is less than a meter in diameter and drains in a matter of seconds. On this scale, the Coriolis force is miniscule. Therefore, the shape of the sink and how level it is has more to do with the direction of water flow than the Coriolis force.
More here.
h/t Marc for asking.


  1. Ahhh! Interesting. Well, from the quick bit of research I'm doing it seems that hop bines supposedly climb counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere as opposed to clockwise in the northern hemisphere because the way they follow the sun. Which, I'm having a hard time *wrapping* my head around that concept but it may be easier to grasp if I'm looking at the plants with the sun above.

    If you cross paths with any hop growers or farm you must ask them! - b

  2. I will! Meantime, more here:

  3. Soo... yes? The funny thing about homebrewing is that the basis for a lot of information/preferences/procedures out there is anecdotal - so the opposite or conflicting viewpoint on any given topic is not hard to find!

    Anyhow, that seems to extend to homegrowing hops as well. Experience = the best teacher, of course.