Some paper towels
Two empty glasses.
Add some water into one empty glass.
Take a couple of long strands of paper towels and twist them in a manner such that they look like a rope.
Place one end of this twisted paper towel in the glass filled with water such that the paper towel is immersed in water. Leave the other end in the empty glass.
Leave this set up for a few minutes.
After a while, you will notice that the paper towel has started to absorb water and it has started to fill the empty glass with water.
How does this work?
The transfer of water to the empty glass
occurs due to ‘capillary action’. This happens because water travels along the minute gaps in the paper towel and reaches the empty glass. Capillary action can be defined as the movement of a liquid along or through the surface of another material, despite the presence of other forces, for example, gravity.
It is capillary action that helps the roots of a plant in transporting water to the rest of the plant.