Making Tornado in a Glass

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A tornado, also called twister or cyclone, is a violent rotating column of air extending between the Earth’s surface and the base of a thunderstorm.

This vortex of wind, usually funnel-shaped, can be very destructive.

It can destroy large buildings, uproot trees, drive sticks into trees and hurl cars hundreds of yards away.

But in this experiment, we will make a water tornado safely at home.

Let’s see how a rotating vortex is formed.

What you need

  • a tall glass or jar (lid is good but optional)
  • water
  • liquid dish soap
  • a stirrer (if there is no lid, you can use pencil, chopstick, straw or an actual stirrer to stir)


  1. Fill the glass with three quarters of water.
  2. Put a few drops of dish soap into the water.
  3. With one hand holding the glass, use the other hand to stir the water quickly in circular motion until a vortex or column of spinning bubbles is formed.
  4. If you prefer to use a lid, cover the jar tightly and rotate the jar in circles using your wrist.
  5. Then remove the stirrer, or put down the jar, and observe.

For more information:

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