The Assassin’s Teapot


By: Oliver Tabbal, Journalist

The assassin’s teapot is a old Chinese invention that has a weird hidden secret to it. You can pour out poison for your enemy, and tea for yourself. You can also mix the two if you want. The name “assassin’s teapot” might seem more fitting after that explanation, but read more to find out how and why this works.

The assassin’s teapots’ main feature is that it can pour two drinks interchangeably, but how does this happen so easily? The main reason is the two holes in the teapot, one on the top and one on the bottom. These holes are connected to the two different chambers of the teapot which hold two different liquids. Covering up these holes blocks that liquid from coming out, but it does so in a very interesting way.

For water to flow through a specific space, there has to be some air that comes in to fill that space back up, so it doesn’t create a vacuum. This is why if you put small holes in the top of a bottle of water, it can’t fall out easily after turning it upside down. The same concept applies to this teapot. If you cover the hole that leads to a specific chamber, air cannot come in, so liquid can not fall out until you let go of the hole. Youtuber Steve Mould made a 2D example that showcases just that. This way, you can make whichever of the two liquids you want come out by just covering one hole or another.

The assassin’s teapot is a very cool party trick (or weapon) that you can show off. t has some very interesting science behind it that makes it very unique.

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