Weather News

Underwater 'tornado' filmed off Queensland coast

Ben Domensino, Wednesday May 27, 2020 - 15:57 EST

An unusual sight of what appeared to be an underwater tornado was filmed off the east coast of Queensland last week.

A robotic underwater vehicle was streaming a live video as it studied the seafloor near More Reff to the east of Cairns last Thursday.

While filming a small crab sitting on the seafloor, a strange object moved into the right side of the picture. The camera panned over to see what looked like an underwater tornado moving across the sand at the bottom of the sea. And just like a tornado on land, the funnel was even leaving a small trail in its wake.

The footage initially bewildered the researchers, but after further investigation, the underwater vortex is believed to have been caused by the rotors of the robotic vehicle that was filming the scene.

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