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Excursion Funnel

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Excursion funnel.svg
Excursion Funnel
General information

Aperture Science


Tractor beam made of liquid asbestos

Used by

ATLAS and P-body

“Asbestos is harmless!”
— Excursion Funnel diagram[1]

The Excursion Funnel is a testing element used in the Enrichment Center several decades after Portal, and appears in Portal 2.


Inside an Excursion Funnel, facing its emitter.
  • Created from at least 1998, Excursion Funnels are used by Aperture Science as part of an investigation into how well Test Subjects can solve problems while traveling violently through a churning funnel of liquid asbestos. According to the Aperture Science scientists, results as far as 1998 were highly informative; they cannot.[1]
  • Acting as a tractor beam, the Excursion Funnel is powered by a round emitter placed on a wall, containing three gleaming, blue orbs. From each orb leaves a thread that swirls on itself in a spiral, the three threads making up the Funnel itself, a seemingly infinite transparent blue cylinder.[2] Combined with portals, it can transport Test Subjects or objects to otherwise unreachable areas.[1]
  • "Asbestos is harmless!" appears to be the Excursion Funnel's slogan, and a registered trademark of Aperture Science.[1]
  • If the player is about to die through misplacing a portal that is redirecting an Excursion Funnel, the game automatically rearranges their portals to save them from death.[3]
  • The mechanics of the "liquid asbestos" aspect of excursion funnels is currently unknown. It is likely that the device generates a type of tractor beam, which propels a liquid mixture of several elements, one of these being liquified asbestos.

Related Achievements

Portal 2
TRACTOR BEAM.jpg Tunnel of Funnel (15G)
Master the Excursion Funnel.
EXCURSION FUNNELS.jpg Obstacle Building (15G)
Complete all test chambers in the Excursion Funnels co-op course.

Behind the scenes

The original diagram, with a Super Button in place of the emitter.

The Excursion Funnel was first revealed through a diagram in the April, 2010 issue of Game Informer. In the diagram, a 1500 Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding Super Button serves as a placeholder for the Funnel's emitter.[1] For an updated (and moving) diagram revealed during E3 2010, the Button was replaced by the definitive device.[2]


So far it is unknown why while the Excursion Funnel was already in use in 1998 as it is not seen in the first Portal, set over 20 years later.[4] However, it is likely that Chell simply did not venture into Test Chambers containing the Excursion Funnel during this time.


List of appearances

Main games



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Game Informer, April 2010 issue
  2. 2.0 2.1 Excursion Funnel demonstration on Combine OverWiki's YouTube channel
  3. Dave Saunders states in the Developer commentary Excursion Funnel "As a solution, we now detect when the player places the wrong portal in hopes of saving themselves; we help them out by moving their other portal under the excursion funnel source."
  4. Special Edition Podcast: Portal 2 - podcast on Game Informer

External links