Coriolis Effect in Nanyuki Kenya

Nanyuki Kenya

Coriolis Effect demonstration in Nanyuki

Two Digital Gypsies Rating – 2 Stars

On our safari in Kenya we stopped on the equator in Nanyuki where there were restrooms. Public restrooms with running water and toilets are rare in Kenya, so any opportunity to use one is a treat. During our stop we were expected to watch a demonstration of the Coriolis Effect and then visit one of the shops. The other shop owners are supposed to leave you alone after you visit the first shop, but that didn’t happen. What we thought would initially be fun at the stop was ruined by the pushy and aggressive shop owners. They followed us to the restrooms, followed us from the restrooms back to the safari vehicle, and stood outside the safari vehicle pleading with us to buy souvenirs until we pulled out of the stop.

For the demonstration of the Coriolis Effect a guide (who expects a tip at the end)  took us north of the equator around 60 feet and showed us how toothpicks placed on top the water would rotate clockwise and the water would swirl clockwise as it left the container. Next we went south of the equator 60 feet where the toothpicks on water rotated counter-clockwise and the water leaving the container swirled counter-clockwise, and finally directly over the equator where the toothpicks didn’t move and the water didn’t rotate at all as it left the container.

When I got to our accommodations that night I looked up the Coriolis Effect on the web and found that the Coriolis Effect is noticeable only for events occurring over large distances and long periods of time, with large-scale movements of air in the atmosphere. Like cyclones. So the demonstration we saw in Nanyuki was a sham. It was simply a person manipulating a container of water.

The only reason I gave this stop 2 stars is because there were fairly nice restrooms that we could use, otherwise the aggressive shop owners would have driven my rating to one star or less.

If you happen to stop here on safari, avoid the Coriolis Effect demonstration, it’s not real. Then quickly use the restrooms and hurry on to the next destination so you can avoid the pushy shop owners at this stop.