Intuitive Explanation of Tippe Top Effect?

A friend showed me a tippe top (a special kind of spinning top) lately and asked me about the physics behind it. I thought about it for a while but cannot quite figure it out. So I will throw the question to SE. Below is a picture of tippe top:

So basically the strange effect is that when you spin such a top fast enough with its round surface touching the table, the top will wobble and eventually invert itself. There is a video of this effect at wiki commons and here is an illustrative picture:

So my questions are:

1. Why is the top so unstable? Why does it invert?
2. Why does the initial angular velocity of the top matter? (Why do we have to spin faster than a certain velocity in order for the top to invert?)
3. What other shapes will lead to inversion?

I am looking for some intuitive explanations that do not involve too much mathematics. Heuristic approaches are welcomed!

• I've got one of those. Boy, that's gotta be one hell of an equation of motion! ;-)
– Gert
Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 22:37
• Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 2:20
• Related: physics.stackexchange.com/q/9805/2451 , physics.stackexchange.com/q/68223/2451 and links therein. Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 3:00
• @KeithMcClary Hmm. I guess it is difficult to not use any mathematics. But I still think there should be a somewhat intuitive explanation. Utsav's answer provided some insight. I will keep thinking and wait for more answers Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 4:50
• A video came to my mind reading this, but I cannot find it now. I think it was Walter Lewin who derived the tippe top equation just by means of dimensional analysis... any clue of where to find that lesson? Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 15:40