Monday, March 17, 2014

Escape Plan - Bad Science

I recently watched the movie Escape Plan, starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  A lot of violence, so definitely not a kid movie.  In the movie, the character played by Stallone is trying to figure out his location.  He uses a sextant to determine his location.  A few scenes later they figure out their latitude on Earth, but not whether they are in the northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere.  Stallone says that since the toilet flushes in a certain direction, they must be in the northern hemisphere.!  Dead wrong!

There's a big misconception that toilets flush in one direction in the northern hemisphere and a different direction in the southern hemisphere.  The misconception describes the Coriolis Effect as the cause.  The Coriolis Effect is a real thing and determines which direction storm systems rotate, but it doesn't work on small scales...such as a toilet.  Toilets flush in a certain direction based on toilet design.  In other words, toilets can flush counter clockwise AND clockwise in the northern hemisphere.  The same is true for the southern hemisphere.

Escape Plan was a decent movie if you're looking for some hard core action with no romance, but in terms of science, nope.  

No comments:

Post a Comment