One Of The World’s Largest Whirlpools Churns Off The Maine Coast
Maine is home to many awesome natural wonders, including one of the biggest whirlpools on earth.
It's certainly not the colossal watery vortex that swallows up huge ships in sea stories, but it's still a cool sight. Old Sow Whirlpool is located between Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada, and Moose Island, Eastport, Maine. It's the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere, and among the biggest in the world.
According to the Old Sow website, the whirlpool is formed by the tremendous amounts of tidal water that rushes into the Western Passage of Passamaquoddy Bay. Below the surface are trenches and an underwater mountain that also causes the turbulent churning of the water. It's rare, but at times, Old Sow does create a major funnel. However, for the most part, Old Sow forms a large area of eddies, boils, spouts, holes, and numerous gyres.
The local legend says the name "Old Sow" stems from the pig-like noise the whirlpool makes when it's violently churning. On both sides of the border, charter boats will pilot visitors through the whirlpool. The trip is generally safe in motorized boats, but not recommended in canoes or kayaks.
If you're curious, Old Sow is the second largest in the world – dwarfed only by the Maelstrom Whirlpool in Norway.
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