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The Secret of Bottle Flipping

The new trend “The Bottle Flip Challenge” has teens going wild on the internet. Thousands of viral videos featuring a simple flip of a plastic water bottle. The challenge is relatively new, considering the teen who accidentally started it, Mike Senatore for his talent show was to perfectly flip a water bottle in the air and have it land upright. With it being captured on video and uploaded to thousands of social media sites, the video went viral.

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From then, the challenge has been replicated and alternated hundreds of times. The latest most popular attempt at the bottle flip challenge was taken place in Sweden and was successful by two YouTubers Vlad & Daniel. The video now has a striking two million hits and is believed to be the world record for the biggest bottle flip challenge.

The trend has grabbed the attention of all, which is why I have set out to find the science behind the challenge. One of the biology teachers, Mr. Buck, believes that the bottle flip can, “be explained by considering the moment of inertia (that is to say the resistance of the bottle to spin) which increases during the rotation as the fluid climbs the side of the bottle, thereby slowing the rotation.”

Still conflicted on how the flip really works, I needed more evidence as to how and why it can work in non-scientific terms. An easier explanation to why the rotation of the bottle works and lands correctly is to experiment and find proof yourself by “trying filming and replaying in slow motion, using a clear bottle with coloured water and then begin to play the video back slowly to see what action happens with the liquid.” Mr. Buck states.

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Testing the bottle flip myself, I believe that I have the flip down by practicing the same motion with different types of bottles and different amounts of liquids. I have found it much easier to fill the bottle 1/3 with liquid and use a quick and easy rotation to flip the bottle while making the liquid stay to the side of the bottle.

After finally learning how the bottle flip works, my friends and I have set out to put our bottle flip skills to use. From flipping milk bottles to doing flips behind our heads, I believe I have finally learnt how to bottle flip. But that’s only my experience, go out and try it yourself, and if there are any question there’s always Mr. Buck and myself!

Nadav Ziskinder (9)

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