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Green Fire Tornado or Fire Whirl

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Published on Apr 16, 2012

Make a tabletop fire tornado, fire whirl or fire devil using simple household materials. You can even color the flames green! This easy science project illustrates how real tornadoes, fire whirls and waterspouts form. Usually a difference in temperature in a fluid medium creates a current. Since motion rarely occurs straight up or straight down, it is natural for a vortex to form. In this project the vortex is produced by spinning a mesh cylinder. The air that enters the cylinder rotates at a different rate from the air (and fire) toward the center of the cylinder. I used a metal trash can for my mesh cylinder, but you can make your own device by stapling a sheet of screen or mesh into this shape. I placed the tube on a lazy susan or carousel. If you do not have this device, you can spin the fire on a rotating stool.

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