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World's weirdest weather

By: Laura Moss on Sept. 1, 2010, 12:05 p.m.
A waterspout swirls over the ocean.

Photo: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock

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Waterspouts, or water devils, are tornadoes over water that are usually formed by developing rain clouds. This phenomenon is common in tropical areas where thunderstorms occur frequently, such as around the Florida Keys. Although they happen over water, waterspouts don’t actually suck up water — droplets formed by condensation create the water seen in the funnel cloud.

These water tornadoes sometimes make hissing or bubbling noises, and that combined with their long, neck-like appearance might explain sightings of sea monsters.