Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 83: Sep-Oct 1992

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Wrong-way waterspout

September 28, 1991. Aboard the m.v. Staffordshire in the western Mediterranean. On this date, between 0555 and 0810 UTC, observers on the bridge counted 15 waterspouts, one of which was anomalous:

"At 0722 the two spouts furthest forward and the one on the beam dissipated leaving one which was of quite a large diameter, about 20 m as seen at a range of about 300 m. The direction of rotation of the water in the spout was clearly seen. Although the observers were aware that the direction of rotation should be anticlockwise in this case, they decided (with great surprise) that the direction of this particular one was clockwise. The only other spout that passed closer, within 15 m, was very weak, but the direction of rotation at the surface was clearly anticlockwise."

(Edwards, R.A.F.; "Waterspouts," Marine Observer, 62:113, 1992.) All Northern Hemisphere waterspouts should rotate anticlockwise.

From Science Frontiers #83, SEP-OCT 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987