Rising Water Experiment

Love doing experiments? If so, here comes a fantastic and simple to do experiment (Rising Water Experiment) with water that demonstrates capillary action. Before you go ahead with the experiment, it is good to know the basics of capillary action. Capillary action is an act of a liquid (like water) to move upward through a hollow tube or through a spongy material.  You can read more about capillary action in our science lessons.

Try it yourself

You need:

  1. Tissue paper
  2. A glass tumbler
  3. Two to three colours of sketch pens
  4. A stick or a pencil
  5. Glue

What next?

Step 1: Make a trip of tissue paper to a length smaller than the inner depth of the glass tumbler.

Step 2: Stick one end of the tissue paper to the wooden stick or the pencil so that the when you keep the pencil perpendicular to the earth, the strip of tissue paper hangs on it by length.

Step 3: Using sketch pens draw a line with three different colours making three different portions of it. The line must be drawn slightly above the loose end of the tissue paper.

Step 4: Pour some water to the tumbler (not more than 10% of the tumbler).

Step 5: Place the pencil on the glass so that the loose end of the tissue paper strip falls inside the glass and touches its tip (only the portion that is below the colourful line) in the water.

You will notice that the water climbing up through the tissue and in the process it disperses the colours towards the upward direction.


The logic of Rising Water Experiment is simple – Capillary Action. As the free end of the tissue paper touches the water, the liquid starts moving upward. As the liquid moves upward, it spreads the colour, which is also to an upward direction. If the movement of water was to a different direction, the colours also would have spread to that direction.

Leave a Reply