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Since childhood, we love to watch the whirlpools, watch how the water in the bathroom swirls, flowing into the drain. Jules Verne and Edgar Poe were the first to describe this process in detail.
In fact, most whirlpools are not at all as strong as most people imagine them to be. Such unique phenomena occur between land areas, for example, in narrow straits.
It is no coincidence that the largest whirlpools are native to Norway, where such phenomena are observed in the fjords. The largest and most famous whirlpools in the world will be discussed below.
Whirlpools near Guyana and Suriname. Scientists have recently discovered these two giant whirlpools. Water spins in a circle with a diameter of 400 kilometers. Two huge craters are located in the Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of the Amazon. From the whirlpools, two hundred kilometers to Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname. Scientists have concluded that these huge craters may even have a serious impact on the local climate. The eddies appeared here thanks to the collision of the northern current, which runs along the Brazilian coast, and the equatorial southern, as well as the giant mouth of the Amazon. The funnels rotate clockwise like huge frisbees. Water moves in a circle at a speed of a meter per second, which is quite a lot relative to ordinary ocean currents. And on the border of the funnel there is a step in the form of a wave 40 centimeters high. At the same time, scientists were surprised to find that eddies exist even during periods of low activity of ocean currents and river flow. It is obvious that the formations are formed by some unknown and mysterious force yet. Now scientists are studying the influence of funnels on the climate not only in South America, but also in Africa. It is believed that understanding the essence of the whirlpools will even help improve navigation in the Atlantic, because they could help ships save fuel.
Naruto. In Japan itself, a stormy cartoon character is known under this name, but throughout the world Naruto is known as a whirlpool, one of the largest in the world. It is located between the Japanese islands of Shikoku and Awaji. The whirlpool itself is tidal. He appears here once a day, when the Pacific Ocean rushes into a narrow strait between the land. The level difference between it and the Inland Sea reaches one and a half meters. Water in the current moves at a speed of up to 15 meters per second. This makes Naruto the fastest whirlpool in Japan and the third largest in the world. The water is twisted into a funnel with diameters of twenty meters. This is enough to flood even ships, so they dislike the strait, trying to bypass it. And it is not difficult to see the whirlpool, unlike the previous one. Naruto has even become a local attraction. A couple of boats with a transparent bottom cruise along the strait, through which you can see how the water is boiling. For those who find such a journey dangerous, you can look at the whirlpool from the suspension bridge of the same name, from which 45 meters to the water surface. Moreover, it is also one of the longest in its class.
Maelstrom. This whirlpool appears in a narrow and long bay. A mass of water enters there with the tide. But then the peak passes and the tide comes. But the water does not have time to return, facing the next tide. This gives rise to one of the most famous whirlpools in the world - the Maelstrom. It is located near the Lofoten Islands in Norway. The Gulf Stream, escaping from behind the Lofoten Wall, faces powerful tides. The whirlpool is always present here, its strength depends on many factors: weather, current strength, peak tide. The constancy of Maelstrom makes him stand out from his seasonal counterparts. With a stormy wind and maximum tide, the water in the funnel can move at a speed of up to 11 kilometers per hour. So, in such conditions, captains are not recommended to send their ships to the strait north of Moskenesho Island. The whirlpool first appeared on maps in the 16th century, when the famous Mercator atlas was published. The English merchant Anthony Jenkinson wrote about Maelstrom, who traveled across the northern seas to trade with Russia. Other travelers also mentioned this phenomenon. All of them in those days said that a powerful whirlpool turns ships into chips, how whales who have fallen into a trap moan plaintively in it, they said that the mystical ringing of bells spreads from here. Edgar Poe himself dedicated one of his works to this place, eloquently calling it "Overthrow in Maelstrom". The writer told about the fate of a man who lost his ship and friends in the whirlpool, but miraculously survived. Of course, the horrors of the maelstrom are greatly exaggerated by writers. But a small vessel, and even with a weak engine, really can not cope with the powerful current. So it's not worth the risk. And you can observe this beautiful natural phenomenon from the city of Buda, adjacent to the archipelago.
Saltstremen. It is near Bude that there is another whirlpool, even more spectacular and powerful than its predecessor. It appears with the arrival of high tide in the Sherstad fjord. It is known that the strongest current is observed with a full and young moon. In just six hours, 370 million cubic meters of water rushes into the 150-meter wide fjord at a speed of up to 44 kilometers per hour. Here powerful whirlpools are formed, whose diameter reaches 15 meters. With ebb, everything is repeated in the opposite direction. For sailors, this behavior of the water is very dangerous, which is why sailing on the fjord must be carefully coordinated with the time of ebb and flow. Even if the surface appears calm, the boat may be pulled down. The whirlpool located above the Arctic Circle is considered the most powerful in the world. Koirebriken. There is a narrow strait between the islands of Jura and Scarba off the coast of Scotland. Its bottom is uneven and cut with rocks and holes. The water in the strait does not flow calmly, but constantly rages. This is how one of the largest whirlpools on the planet is born. Narrow entrances and exits are also a feature of the strait. Thanks to this, during the ebb and flow of the tide, the water literally boils here. And the main danger is the whirlpool. The sea moves so powerfully that the waves rise to a height of nine meters. We hear the roar and noise from Koirebriken at a distance of up to 16 kilometers. A whirlpool appears depending on the ebb and flow. Many curious people tried to get to this place, some of them cost their lives. Today boat trips are offered along the northern coast of Jura. A dangerous and beautiful phenomenon did not go unnoticed by writers. In 1984, Orwell described the heroes' rescue from this maelstrom, where their boats fell. And the Scots themselves came up with many legends about him. They believe that the winter witch washes her blanket in a narrow strait, which causes the water to boil. When the blanket becomes clean, winter comes to the islands, covering everything around with a white blanket.
Great whirlwind. There is a rather strange phenomenon in the oceans - the Great Vortex. This clockwise current is, in fact, a huge whirlpool. It appears every summer off the coast of Somalia. This vortex affects the sea surface temperature and affects the monsoons, which carry much-needed moisture to Asia. For over a century, sailors have known that the Great Vortex appears at the start of the monsoon season in June and disappears in September, shortly after the winds stop. Recent evidence suggests that the Great Vortex is even more associated with the monsoons than previously thought. But this happens not through the air, but through the ocean. It turns out that the water begins to move clockwise a couple of months before the start of the wind season. Rosby Waves - Small 5cm ripples, echoes of past monsoons, give the whirlpool a current before the wind picks it up. Research was carried out using satellites, and expeditions to the Arabian Sea became unsafe thanks to Somali pirates. It is not yet possible to predict the location of the vortex and its orientation. After all, the wandering of a huge whirlpool is determined by its own mini-cyclones. When rotating, the mass of water along its edge creates several cyclones moving counterclockwise. They affect maternal education by moving the entire flow.
Scylla and Charybdis. In the Strait of Messina, between the Apennines and Sicily, there is a large whirlpool, known since ancient times. In fact, this is a whole system called Scylla and Charybdis. In Greek mythology, Charybdis was a creature that lived in these places and destroyed passing ships. There is a mention of this in the works of Homer about the adventures of Odysseus in search of the Golden Fleece. So the whirlpool is pretty old. And although dramas and tragedies are not connected with it, the mythical past attracts tourists and scientists here. And a whirlpool is generated by powerful currents of ebb and flow. They collide and begin to confront each other. The Strait of Messina itself is considered narrow, its width is only 3.5 kilometers. The speed of currents in the strait reaches 10 kilometers per hour, which is a lot. That is why powerful whirlpools are formed, the most powerful of which the Greeks gave mythical names. It is already known that the strongest tides, respectively, and the most powerful funnels, appear here with a southerly wind and a full moon. So in such conditions, sailors prefer not to go out into the strait.
Old Sow. This whirlpool is considered the largest in the Western Hemisphere. It is located between the USA and Canada, the islands of Deer Island and Eastport. The very name of this place comes from the word meaning "sewer" or "sound of leakage". The whirlpool is caused by the local bottom topography and tide. As a result, water vortices with a diameter of up to 75 meters are formed. The turbulence here is not as strong as that of the champions. For powerboats with experienced navigators, the vortex is not dangerous. But small ships and sailboats should be wary of tides in these waters. Smaller local whirlpools are called "piglets", which seem to be gathered around the main old "pig". In addition to them, other phenomena are observed here - tidal holes and standing waves.
Uzina Skukumchak. In Canada, British Columbia has a National Park which is a great outdoor recreation destination. People here do not just walk, but also arrange camping and diving. There is a narrow strait between two pieces of land. Often here, even in calm weather, lambs and whirlpools are formed. Uzina Skukumchak represent a danger for lovers of water travel. It is recommended not to enter the water during high tides, although at other times this place may be safe. The difference in water levels on both sides of the strait is two meters, and the water here moves at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour, which makes the rapids almost the fastest in the world. It is best to look at the emerging whirlpools from observation decks at the water's edge. Such a sight will be perfectly combined with a tour of the wildlife park. Local toilets also correspond to unity with nature, in the form of pits, and not cubicles familiar to a civilized person.
Te Aumiti. This is the Maori name for the narrow and dangerous French Passage, which separates the D'Urville and South Islands in New Zealand. For the first time, Europeans passed here in 1827. Then the traveler Dumont-D'Urville nearly smashed his corvette, which was beaten by the current on stones and thrown over the reef. The Frenchman immediately declared that it is better for ships not to go in this strait unless absolutely necessary. Even today, it is officially recommended that ships navigate only during quiet times due to the difficulties in steering and the risk of collisions with oncoming ships. The eddies here are formed by the country's fastest tidal currents, which reach 4 meters per second. It is known that the change in direction of water movement is so powerful that it can stun fish. The elevation changes in the New Zealand Straits cause powerful, up to 25 minutes, short-term currents. In addition, there are also vertical, up to 100 meters, underwater pits that form vertical currents.
Niagara Falls. The huge falling body of water is ideal for the emergence of eddies downstream. They are so strong that they pose a mortal danger to the daredevils who risked challenging them. For example, in 1883 Matthew Webb drowned here, who was the first to swim across the English Channel. Today it is better to enjoy the view of the raging and swirling water below from the cabin of the Aero Car cable car, which glides over the great gorge. The track was built back in 1916, today in 10 minutes you can drive a distance of a kilometer. And this is the safest way to see the Niagara whirlpools.