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The Biggest Whirlpool In The Western Hemisphere Is Hundred Of Years Old

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posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 10:34 PM

Little ol' me didn't even know whirlpools "lived" more than a few minutes, much less years or even hundred of years!

This whirlpool, called "Old Sow," is located off the coast of Maine and is around 250 feet wide. It's speed is around 25km/hour, but there are bigger and faster whirlpools, though Old Sow is considered one of the five significant whirlpools in the world.

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.

Wikipedia says whirlpools aren't usually fast, strong or deadly. With more power/speed/menace, they become maelstroms. Whirlpools with downdrafts are, technically, vortexes. In 1997, an aerial photograph of Old Sow was taken for measurement purposes and indicated two downdrafts (or "funnels").

Though said to be named the "Old Sow" whirlpool because it makes sounds like the grunts like a pig, it is more likely that it was actually the "olde sough" or "old drain." Pronounced suff, over the years the pronunciation of the Dutch word probably shifted to pronounced like "sow" (much like the word plough, pronounced pluff, turning to plow) as did the spelling and backstory of its name. (Other smaller nearby whirlpools are now known as "piglets.")

This was mentioned today by my sci-fi blog, io9.
Source: Atlas Obscura
Picture Source:

[edit on 3/24/2010 by Hadrian]

posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 11:04 PM
reply to post by Hadrian

There is a whirlpool in the American River?, in Sacramento,Ca. It is perhaps 150 feet or more
across. In the summer time people on various floating devices can float around in circles with just a little bit of paddling.

I did it one summer.

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