Waterspout close to the shoreline near Batemans Bay, 140 miles south of Sydney, 18 November 2012: photo by Reuters / NSWRFS / Phil Caminiti
The story of the waterspout, as it is told in books, shows it to be a brief-lived tree. A cloud is whirling downwards, and sucking out its whirlpoint toward the sea, like a sucking mouth. The sea below whirls upward, thrusting out its whirlpoint towards the cloud. The two ends meet, and the water swept up in the sea-whirl passes out into the cloud-whirl, and swirls up through it, as it were gain-saying it. . . .
In the ideal waterspout, not only does the water swirl upwards through the cloud-whirl, but the cloud swirls downwards through the sea-whirl. . . .
The ideal waterspout is not yet complete. The upper half must unfold like a fan, only it unfolds all around like a flower-cup; and it does not leave the cup empty, so that this flower is like a chrysanthemum. At the same time the lower half has unfolded in the same way, till there are two chrysanthemums back to back. . . .
It is strength turning inside out. Such is the true beat of strength, the first beat, from which all others part, the beat we feel in all things which come within our measure, in ourselves, and in our starry world. . . .
Allen Upward: from The New Word, written 1901, self-published 1908
Residents view huge waterspout close to the shoreline near Batemans Bay, 140 miles south of Sydney, 18 November 2012: photographer unknown, via the Sun
A giant waterspout is seen over Hongze Lake in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, 29 August 2012: photo by Yue Mingyou / Rex Features
Waterspout, seen from Clifton, Woolongong, New South Wales: photo by dirtymouse, 22 April 2007
Waterspout off the Florida Keys:: photo by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1969
Waterspouts in the Bahamas Islands: photo by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, n.d.
Tornado waterspout near Cape Formentor, Mallorca: photo by Julian Kupfer, 2006
Waterspout off Singapore coast: photo by Sgyjk, 25 September 2011
Twin waterspouts, Kakaaka Waterfront Park, Honolulu: photo by rubbah slippahs, 2 May 2011
Twin waterspouts, Kakaaka Waterfront Park, Honolulu (last gasp, just before the spout on the left dissipated): photo by rubbah slippahs, 2 May 2011
Waterspout: photo by SICAL808, 2 May 2011
Tromba marina da Caia d'Oro, Solenzara (Corse): photo by azuk, 26 July 2010
Tra cielo e mare (Civitanova, Marche, Italy): photo by F. Fausta, 9 October 2011
Waterspouts seen from the air, approx. 1200 feet high, about 40nm north of Vanderlin Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory, Australia: photo by Tony (austr07), 1987; image 27 August 2009
Waterspouts over Bondi Beach, Sydney: photo by Dave Keeshan, 7 April 2007
Waterspout, Alanya, Antalya Province, Turkey: photo by rinselsbacher (Ralph Inselsbacher), 11 September 2002
Waterspout, Lennox Head, New South Wales: photo by erniesusie (Ian Tester), 15 July 2010