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Giant ocean whirlpools puzzle scientists


US scientists discovered two giant whirlpools in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Guyana and Suriname. It became a sensational discovery because this part of the ocean has been studied thoroughly, and no one expected anything like that to appear in the area. More importantly, no one can understand where the whirlpools came from and what surprises they may bring to people. We reported earlier about two whirpools (Huge Ocean ‘Frisbees’ Whirl Off Brazil Coast) of Brazil coast. Two scientist, William Johns and Guilherme Castelão detailed their findings online Jan. 11 in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.

This funnels rotate clockwise and they are moving in the ocean. Just northwest of Brazil, winds drive part of the North Brazil Current eastward along the equator. Every now and then, this turn is especially sharp and the current loops around. The looping action pinches off a huge clockwise-spinning disk of warm water that travels northwest like a Frisbee moves through air. Although scientists have known about these “current rings” for decades, knowledge of even their basic details such as size, speed, depth and rate of spin was limited. It appears that rotation occurs at a rate of one meter per second, the speed is sufficiently large compared to the speed of oceanic currents, on the border hoppers is a wave-step height of 40 cm.

These rings play a key role in global climate as well, transporting ocean heat from the equator northward and eventually feeding into the Gulf Stream system. Even during the dry months the funnels do not disappear. Scientists concluded that the nature of the funnels does not depend on the flow of water, which one of the world’s biggest rivers brings into the ocean. The natural phenomenon, which creates the whirlpools, is unknown to modern science.

As a matter of fact, the phenomenon of giant whirlpools in the World Ocean is not new to science. In most cases, the craters, or rings, as scientists call them, are formed as a result of so-called vertical currents. The latter, in their turn, appear because of differences in water density which appear because of difference in temperatures of water layers. It is an open secret that cold water is thicker and heavier, so it goes down, underneath the masses of warm water, which is lighter. This is the reason why warm currents in the World Ocean always flow closer to the surface, whereas colder currents flow closer to the bottom. (Scientists Use Satellites to Help Detect Deep-Ocean Whirlpools)

Whirlpools are ocean currents that move in a rotating direction, produced by rising and falling tides. Some of these exhibit a downward pull, called a vortex. One of the most famous whirlpools is the Maelstrom located near the Lofoten Islands, off the coast of Norway. The word comes from the Dutch for ‘whirling stream’. This is caused by a strong channel about 8km (5 miles) wide that travels through the islands of Moskensøya and Mosken. The currents can reach speeds of 11km/h (7mph) with the changing tides. Others occur on the Strait of Corryvreckan (between Scarba and Jura, off the west coast of Scotland), along the coast of Calabria in southern Italy and off Messina, in the strait between Sicily and peninsular Italy. A vortex occurs in the Naruto Strait, which connects the Inland Sea (Japan) and the Pacific Ocean.

Old Sow is the name of the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere located off the southwestern shore of Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada between that island and Moose Island, the principal island of Eastport, Maine. The whirlpool is caused by local bathymetry and extreme tidal range where waters exchange between Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy, combined with the unusual topography of the location’s sea floor at the confluence of the numerous local currents.

The Naruto whirlpools (鳴門の渦潮) are tidal whirlpools in the Naruto Strait, a channel between Naruto in Tokushima and Awaji Island in Hyōgo, Japan.
The strait between Naruto and Awaji island has a width of about 1.3 km (0.81 miles). The strait is one of the connections between the Pacific Ocean and the Inland Sea, a body of water separating Honshū and Shikoku, two of the main islands of Japan.


Saltstraumen is a sound with a strong tidal current located in Nordland 30 km east of the city of Bodø, Norway. The narrow channel connects the outer Saltfjord with its extension, the large Skjerstadfjord. It is the strongest tidal current in the world. Up to 400 million m³ (tonnes) of seawater forces its way through a 3 km long and 150 m wide strait every six hours, with water speeds reaching 22 knots (about 40 km/h). Vortices known as whirlpools or maelstroms up to 10 m in diameter and 5 m in depth are formed when the current is at its strongest.

As the Gulf Stream flows north, it encounters the Labrador flowing south along the banks of Cape Hatteras. As these two currents meet, they begin to meander (they wind back and forth like a snake). Eventually, these meanders “pinch off” from the main flow and become independently rotating structures, known as rings.

One set of rings, which contains the cold water of the Labrador Current, are known as cold core rings. These cold core rings spin off from the Gulf Stream and are propelled eastward into the North Atlantic Ocean. Their movements may take them quite far from the Gulf Stream and, depending on their size, they may retain their characteristics for months. As they spin off from the Gulf Stream, they have a certain rotational velocity, a net direction, and a characteristic temperature structure.

On the other side of the Gulf Stream, warm water pinches off into structures called warm core rings. These rings typically spin off west and north of the Gulf Stream, and travel against the flow of the Labrador Current. Because their centers are composed of warm, nutrient-poor water, conditions are not ripe for plankton blooms. As such, these rings typically don’t develop the kinds of biological communities we observe in cold-core rings.

Grant Chronicles write about ocean whirpool due to Earth wobble. The shipping lanes along certain fringe zones between warm & cold currents and opposite bodies of water are going to become hazardous due to sudden shifts of bodies of waters and currents due to the rocking motion of the Earth as the tilt adjusts to the slow moving turn of the north pole of the 12th planet. With the 12th planet moving into a magnetic comfort zone of the Sun where both poles will soon be parallel to the tangent line of Earth’ orbital path as the North Pole of the 12th planet rotates towards Earth and the South Pole away within the plane of the ecliptic, wobble will become extreme as the poles of the 12th move another 90 degrees and the north pole of the 12th planet faces the Earth. The wobble will take the motion of a slowly spinning top as the axis of the earth forms an ever-widening circle. The swaying of the large water basins will force cold water over warm waters quickly with disastrous results. The major problem occurs when tilt forces cold water away from the warm currents first, stops, thus creating high tides on the extreme end then reverses and forces this mass of accumulated water into the warm currents creating a line of whirlpools separated turbulent static channels between them. The cold water forced over warmer water due to the wobble of the poles will sink in conjunction with the rotation of the Earth a spin or water vortex will form at random areas in the oceans of the world where two bodies of distinctly different water temperatures co mingle, but a pattern will develop. Ships will be pulled under with little warning with the only remnant trace, scattered debris floating on the turbulent surface.

The second affect will be the change in the jet stream flows and how air masses interact. This will bring the about the advent of the super storms were 2 distinct air masses will be forced together suddenly and the front will be a source of devastation not seen in recent history. Not so much in magnitude, but some will be near the extreme end and hurricanes should not move above 250 mph. due to the atmospheric friction with the land masses as opposed to the sheer number of occurrences.

Pravda reports about two giant whirlpools in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Guyana and Suriname. Such movement of water may not always depend on the difference of temperatures of the water column. The difference in salinity can also be a reason. The mechanism here is the same. The density of saltier water is higher, this water is heavier and it moves closer to the bottom, pushing less saltier water up. This type of vertical fusion occurs frequently in the tropics because high temperatures lead to the evaporation of water from the surface. The salt does not evaporate with water, though. It stays in the ocean, which raises the level of salinity on the upper layer of water. This layer “drowns” and gives way to less saltier waters of the depth. Such vertical movements of water create giant whirlpools. The whirlpools, tens and even hundreds of kilometers in diameter, may last for months and even years, scientists say. The vertical movement of waters is a slow process, though. Why do those whirlpools exist for such a long time? This is partially the effect of Earth’s magnetic field. In addition, marine water contains many charged ions, Na and Cl for example. To crown it all, water molecules are dipoles that are charged both positively and negatively.

Any dipole starts spinning when moving in the magnetic field. An oceanic ring gathers millions of billions of molecules together. That is why the giant circle movement triggered by the vertical movement of water may last for months and years mechanically. Ions also give more power to the craters. Natrium and Chlorum are charged as well, and their movement in the magnetic field of the Earth also leads to the appearance of the circle movement.

It is not ruled out that the reason for the appearance of the whirlpools off the coast of South America is the same as in other parts of the World Ocean. Scientists are currently studying the influence of those giant funnels on the climate of Latin America and Africa. Such whirlpools show influence on the atmosphere and form cyclonical air mass. They can also affect the movement of air mass formed in other places. For the time being, scientists do not know how the newly discovered water craters can affect the climate of Central and South Americas.

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  1. It is an interesting comparison nonetheless. Black holes warp space and time, but whirlpools and maelstroms can warp small ocean currents and have impacts on the surrounding liquid environment. Although they are not long lasting at all compared to black holes, the comparison of dynamics still deserves some merit. Fascinating stuff! Definitely check out Edgar Allan Poe’s “Descent Into the Maelstrom” for awesome thrilling storytelling on monster whirlpools. 😀

    1. That is completely incorrect. Black holes are infinitely more complex than whirpools ever could be. Black holes warp space and time, not just suck in water and objects.

  2. The Scappa Flow in GreatBritian has been flow measured using a barrel which was shown to be drawn down to the ocean floor, 1,000 feet below before being released.
    How deep do these ocean vortexes draw down?


    1. Just found out moments ago, that a friend’s, best friend, jumped in a whirlpool in the Virgin Islands this week, (caused by the tide?) They haven’t recovered her body yet.

  4. That is no big deal for the giant ocean whirlpool, Robinson family on the amphibious chariot survived through the giant ocean whirlpool in a stormy weather! They are my heroes! Look at Episode 5 “The Hungry Sea” of Lost In Space! Don’t be fear, you Humans!

  5. Homer in the Illiad wrote about twin whirlpools named Charybdis and Scylla, located somewhere around Sicily, one of which is mentioned in the article. Odysseus like all other navigators had to be very skilled to pass just in the middle between the two, or the boat would be sucked in by one of them.

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