Do Toilets Flush in Opposite Directions in Opposite Hemispheres?

Photo Credit: Pixabay

It’s common knowledge that toilets swirl in the opposite direction in opposite directions. But is it actually true?

The story holds that, in the Northern Hemisphere, toilets spin counterclockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere, they spin clockwise. This is supposedly due to something called the Coriolis effect, an acceleration caused by the rotation of the Earth of the axis.

But if you’ve ever actually used a toilet on the opposite side of the planet, you’d know that these “facts” aren’t actually true at all. Toilets flush in the same direction regardless of where they are located. The only factor that affects the direction of the water’s flow is the way that the toilet is manufactured (i.e., the shape of the bowl, and whether the flush jets point to the left or the right).

Photo Credit: Pixabay

However, that doesn’t mean that the Coriolis effect isn’t real. It does exist, and it affects the spin direction of every body of water, including the water in the toilet. But it’s only observable on very large scales. The amount of water in the toilet is so small that the impact of the Coriolis effect isn’t major enough to be visible.

Hurricanes, on the other hand? Their diameters are a hundred miles wide, and the Coriolis effect makes a noticeable impact on them. Hurricanes absolutely do spin in opposite directions on opposite sides of the Earth. They spin counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Toilets, on the other hand? That’s just a myth.