Spinning snake

How to make a spinning "snake"

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Ob­serve safe­ty pre­cau­tions when work­ing with fire. Con­duct this ex­per­i­ment away from flammable ob­jects and liq­uids.


  • glass with salt;
  • bam­boo rod;
  • nee­dle;
  • can­dle;
  • a sheet of pa­per;
  • scis­sors;
  • pen.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Make a "snake" by draw­ing a spi­ral on a piece of pa­per and cut­ting it out with scis­sors. Make a stand for the “snake” by in­sert­ing a nee­dle into a bam­boo rod, then putting the con­trap­tion in a glass with salt for sta­bil­i­ty. Place a can­dle in the glass. Place the “snake” on the stand and light the can­dle. Watch the “snake” spin!

Process de­scrip­tion

The can­dle flame heats the air, which ex­pands, be­comes less dense, and ris­es. This cre­ates a con­vec­tion stream of warm air, which sets the “snake” in mo­tion. For the ex­per­i­ment to suc­ceed, the snake must be long enough, spi­ral­ly shaped, not light enough to be blown away, and not heavy enough to have trou­ble ro­tat­ing.