body of swirling water

A whirlpool is a body of rotating water. It is usually produced by ocean tides. A bigger whirlpool is called a maelstrom. It is also produced by a current running into an obstacle or opposing currents.

Whirlpools in the Fella near Moggio Udinese, Italy

Whirlpools as a threat change

Many stories tell of ships being sucked into a maelstrom, although only smaller craft are actually in danger. If you swim close to it, it will bring you underwater. You will drown and surface after a few seconds.

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  Media related to Whirlpools at Wikimedia Commons