Tornado in a bottle at home experiment

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 1:14 PM CDT
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Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of how a tornado is formed, you can make one of your own right inside your kitchen!

What you’ll need:

  • Two 1-liter bottles with the caps
  • Scissors & strong tape
  • Water
  • Cooking oil
  • Food coloring (optional)

First, you’ll need to cut a hole in the top of each bottle cap. Try to make the holes roughly the same size to minimize the risk of spilling. Then tape the tops of the cap together with some strong tape that won’t instantly come apart if it gets wet. Make sure to tape around the caps a few times so that it won’t leak.

Next, fill one of the bottles about three-quarters full of water and add a little bit of cooking oil (about 1 Tbsp should do). This is the time to add any food coloring, glitter, or sand to the mixture for some extra fun.

Screw one end of the caps onto the filled bottle, then screw the empty bottle onto the top of the other. You can swirl the contents of the bottom bottle to get everything mixed together.

Make sure both bottles and screwed together tightly, then flip the contraption over. You may need to swirl it around a bit to get the water moving, but soon you’ll see a cyclone form as the water flows to the bottom bottle.

This is a great, simple experiment that you can do over and over once you have it put together! If you try it out for yourself, we’d love to see a picture of how yours turned out- you can send pictures to

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