Unwinding and Rewinding Toilet Paper

An article about "tornado oddities" on Yahoo! News leads off with this one:

As residents in Hugo begin to move on from last week's tornado, some say they noticed a few bizarre things amid all the damage. Jason Akins said the twister unwound a roll of toilet paper in his bathroom — draped it across the countertop, then rewound it in the sink. The toilet paper didn't even rip.
"All I could say was, 'You have got to be kidding me,'" Akins recalled.

'You've gotta be kidding me' is my reaction also. An article on twincities.com provides a few more details about this unlikely event:

In the bathroom, something unwound a roll of toilet paper. Without ripping it, it unspooled the paper across the countertop, then neatly rewound it in a sink — like a poltergeist making a soft white nest.

So the toilet paper didn't rewind into a perfect roll, which is what I thought when I first read the Yahoo! article. It just collected in the sink. Weird, but I'm willing to accept this could have happened. (Thanks, Big Gary)


Posted on Mon Jun 02, 2008


Sorry if this is a crappy comment.
Posted by fuzzfoot  on  Mon Jun 02, 2008  at  11:41 PM
It could have spun the toilet paper. If the tail of the vortex caught the end of the paper, it might have spun it in a loop (although not a perfect roll) and dropped it in the sink. That would be cooler (and, I think, more likely) than a neat back-and-forth pile.
Posted by cindik  on  Tue Jun 03, 2008  at  08:13 AM
My parents overhead bathroom fan unrolls the toiletpaper roll all the time. It just drops it into a pile on the floor...I guess if it were stronger it might keep it wound as it pulls it off the roll.
Posted by Maegan  on  Tue Jun 03, 2008  at  11:34 AM
I remember seeing a lot more unbelievable things in a Ripley's museum in Texas. They had a whole room of weird tornado stuff (possibly hoaxes).

I think the weirdest thing I saw there was a live, full grown rooster that had supposedly been sucked into a giant, intact bottle with an opening the size of a quarter. They also had a house that was picked up and put down in perfect condition miles away, and a cabinet of fine china that had been placed in a tree with no broken dishes. I also remember reading a story in a christian propaganda book when I was a child about how a tornado came through a house, picked up a tiny baby and put the baby unharmed in an open dresser drawer full of clothes.

I think of all those stories, the toilet paper one sounds the most believable! You could probably start a whole page on tornado related hoaxes if you wanted too. There are tons of similar stories out there. 😊
Posted by Kami  on  Tue Jun 03, 2008  at  01:53 PM
In the Northern Hemisphere, the toilet paper thrown about by tornado(e)s, will gather in a counterclockwise direction, and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, due to the Earth's coriolis effect. I'm also told that a preponderance of people in the Northern Hemisphere will place the paper roll so that the sheets fall from the top outward, but, from the top inward towards the holder is the preference in the Southern Hemishpere and Delaware.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Jun 03, 2008  at  10:00 PM
Where is the Southern Hemishpere, anyway?
Is the liquor good there?
Posted by Big Gary  on  Wed Jun 04, 2008  at  09:13 AM
I believe it's near Toledo.
Posted by Joe  on  Wed Jun 04, 2008  at  12:34 PM
My brothers house was struck by a tornado down in Gun Barrel, TX. I went down there the day after it hit, and the stuff you see (undisturbed aftermath) would boggle your mind. Only half his house was taken out, but the neighbors celing fan from across the street was PERFECTLY embedded into the remaining half of his roof, as though somebody had taken a knife and cutout the area for the fan to fit into PERFECTLY...
Posted by Christopher  on  Wed Jun 04, 2008  at  05:23 PM
Yep, tornadoes do weird things. A small town near where I used to live was hit by one. Tore up the obligatory trailer park, then the funnel lifted as it went over the town itself, doing no damage.
Touched back down about three miles east of town, directly on another mobile home.
Odd thing was the mobile homes in the park looked what you'd expect, ripped open and scattered, but the one that was hit on the other side of town was totally intact, still on the foundation, But crushed completely flat like an aluminum can! The roof was now only about 18 inches above the floor!
I still can't wrap my head around how that happened.
Posted by Captain DaFt  on  Wed Jun 04, 2008  at  11:11 PM
I can believe it... wow
Posted by Toilet Trailer  on  Mon Feb 09, 2009  at  04:16 PM
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