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Do the Great Lakes have whirlpools?
from Joshua in Dunrobin, Ontario, Age 11

Whirlpools are defined as water moving rapidly in a circle so as to produce a depression in the center into which floating objects may be drawn. A common whirlpool is seen when you pull the stopper on a sink to left water out and anything floating in the sink is drawn toward the drain.

Any body of water can have whirlpools of varying sizes...it simply depends on the movement of the water (or objects on the water) and weather conditions. For example, a brisk, swirling wind can cause small whirlpools on the lakes, just as a swirling wind can cause mini "dust funnels" to be stirred up on a dirt road. Also the waves produced by boats on the lakes can cause mini whirlpools to develop.

Thank you for your question!

Answered on April 6, 2001

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