Pythagorean Cup

Imagine filling up your glass with your desired beverage and the contents spilling out through the bottom… It probably sounds pretty infuriating but this innovative piece of science is a rage-inducing reminder to drink in moderation – if you are too excessive with your servings then essentially you will be reprimanded! (This could be the perfect prank to play on your friends too of course!)

(image courtesy of

The basic premise is that the cup has an inbuilt tube running through the middle into the stem, leading to a hole strategically positioned at the very bottom of the cup. On one side of the tube inside the cup there is a small opening which enables the water to flow down the tube and out through the bottom.

If the glass is over-filled then the liquid will quickly be extracted through the gap and the user will end up with a very wet lap!

It is believed that this idea originated from the principle that one is punished for greed. This was a predominant feeling around 530 BC when water supply workers on the Greek island of Samos had their wine consumption restricted. The ‘fair cup’ was invented to enable those who played by the rules to enjoy a cup of wine, whilst those who were greedy and exceeded the portion allowance were punished.

Has discovering this quirky invention made you want to create your own Pythagorean Cup? You can easily make one using the following drinkstuff products:

Disposable Wine Glasses Clear 8.5oz / 240ml

Test Tube Shots 1oz / 30ml

Collins Straws Blue


Follow the simple instructions on and you can enjoy experimenting with your very own Pythagorean Cup.

Combining science with alcohol and the potential for tricking your friends… Has science ever been so fun?!




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