Watch These Homemade Balls Spin At 12,000 RPM

And approximately 12 wows per minute

Hurricane Balls

Hurricane Balls

Pictured here at rest.Screenshot by author, from YouTube

These are hurricane balls. They spin at up to 12,000 revolutions per minute:

And they’re easy to make! Simply fasten two similarly sized spheres together--it’s as simple as hot gluing marbles. To get them up to the incredible speed of 12,000 RPMs, first set them spinning with your fingers, and then blow on them with a straw or an air hose to increase the speed. In a new video from PBS Digital Studios, homemade special effects guru Joey Shanks shows off the fascinating, simple joy of making and spinning hurricane balls.

Shanks gets into a lot of the art of spinning hurricane balls: concave mirrors work best, they look great in glow-in-the-dark-paint, and clear marbles allow for light show tricks.

The science of it, according to Make, was explained by the 19th century French mathematician Louis Poinsot.

Poinsot was the first to demonstrate that any number of individual forces pushing or pulling on a rigid thing can be simplified into just a single linear force and a twisting force called a couple.

So take all the force from blowing on it, combined with its already existing spinning momentum, and we get a little hurricane going incredibly fast in no direction at all. Delightful! Watch the video below: