Monday, December 03, 2012

The Coriolis Force's Effect on Cowlicks

On Saturday night, Britta and I noticed something interesting about our men:  bald spots.

Yes, our baby boys had little bald spots, as infants often do.  Their hair is so delicate and fragile that laying on their backs literally rubs it away.  Aww...

And their daddies had similar bald spots, too, although really these were just the "eyes" of their respective cowlicks.

This called for further investigation.  Could the direction of a boy's swirl in the back of his head be the same as his father's?

Michael's cowlick swirls in a clockwise direction, and so does Liam's.  It appears that Steve's also swirls in a clockwise direction, and so does Luke's.  Haha!  Great men think alike!

Or is this observation just a further facet of the Coriolis Force?

The Coriolis Force, remember, teaches us that toilet water swirls counter-clockwise when you live north of the Equator, and it swirls clockwise if you live south of it.  So why does toilet water always drain counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere?

The Coriolis Force is an acceleration imparted by the Earth’s rotation. The influence of the Coriolis Force on spin direction is real, and it is observable on very large scales (such as trade winds and hurricanes) and also in small scales (such as water in a flushing toilet bowl).

Could the Coriolis Force also affect men's cowlicks at birth?

Both of these daddies and sons were born above the Equator.  So, from this very small-scale study, we shall boldly conclude that men will always have cowlicks that swirl in the opposite direction of their toilets.  Everything just depends on where they live.  :)