Re: Vines and the Coriolis Effect

At 08:23 AM 12/27/96 -0600, Don Burns wrote:
>Not on the subject of Aroids but certainly of interest to those who play 
>with Philodendron and Syngonium, the following interchange is a direct 
>quote from a bionet group last week:
>>>It has been observed that in out area vines grow clockwise up trees.
>>>Is this the same in other parts of Australia or do they grow
>>>ant-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere? CAn someone from there check 
>>>and tell us? 
>>This one I qualify to answer. Because of the earth's rotation a
>>secondary effect force (secondary only because is small in flight
>>computations) called Coryollis effect causes the vortex caused by
>>draining a sink or tub to turn "counterclockwise" - looking down on it
>>in the northern hemisphere. Vines will do the same around trees. Of
>>course as an engineer I use my right hand fist with the thumb up as the
>>direction of the twist looking from bottom up. Likewise the effect is
>>reversed in the southern hemisphere, or thumb down in my analogy. I was
>>born and raised 1/2 degree south of the equator and the vines grew as I
>>stated. Also did the water vortex on the sink. Cheers...
>End of quote.
>When I first read this I could not believe my eyes. Coriolis is not a new 
>concept to me, but as applied to the growth of vines?  Who is pulling 
>whose leg here?  Do I require enlightenment? Have I finally found a good 
>subject for my PhD dissertation in botany?
>PS:  Yup, I already went out to the back yard and looked at the vines 
>climbing the ficus trees - they grow in all directions.
The trunks of all the Eucalyptus here in s. cal spiral in one direction.
However, re: spiraling of water in sinks and toilets, much influence is
imparted by contours of basins. I have devoted my life to watiching this,
flushing toilets and draining sinks everywhere in pursuit of the truth.


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