Ask Mar­i­lyn

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Picks - By Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant —Jake Vor­eis, Palm Har­bor, Fla.

I’ve heard that wa­ter go­ing down a drain spins one way in the North­ern Hemi­sphere and the op­po­site way in the South­ern Hemi­sphere. But when I pull the plug on stand­ing wa­ter in our kitchen sink, some­times it spins clock­wise and some­times the other way. Can you ex­plain? The pop­u­lar no­tion is wrong. Some peo­ple think that plan­e­tary spin in­flu­ences the way wa­ter spi­rals down a drain, but that ef­fect is ut­terly in­con­se­quen­tial on such a small scale. Wa­ter will drain one way or another any­where in the world for a great many other rea­sons, such as the shape of the sink, the place­ment of the drain and even which way or how hard some­one pulls the plug.

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