Visible Vortexes

The most famous vortexes in nature are natural tornado, hurricanes (in the northern hemisphere), and typhoons (southern hemisphere), which appear to be progressively intensive and determined every year in the hurricane season the headlines. Hurricane Katrina transformed New Orleans into a ghost town in 2005, devastated huge areas and paralysed an important part of the oil capacity in the Gulf of Mexico. There is an interesting website where scientists are documenting there works on the causes of this object ( There you can get DVD´s with wonderful pictures.

Less known are water vortexes on the surface of the water, so called twisters.

From the weather charts we know cyclones and anticyclones which determine the weather.

There are more gigantic vortexes (galaxies) with sometimes hundreds of thousands of light years diameter, consisting of billions of stars and we do not know what forces are holding the whole mess together.

Furthermore in nature there is a huge variety of living forms with vortexes in them, animals and plants created under the same rules. Last but not least everybody has certainly seen water in the bathtub, pouring tea, having a pee, in which case the water stream is not flat or round or straight, but spins, a circular structure exists giving the stream a surprising coherence.

More examples are going to be collected.

Invisible vortexes

There are lots of vortexes in water and air, as we will show.

From my point of view the most famous and most important vortex is the gulf stream. It is questionable how water can flow thousands of kilometres through the Atlantic Ocean without scattering in all directions? Here lies a wide field for experimental studies.

Animals and Plants

The problem of slowing down vortexes at air plane wings has been solved by birds in an impressive way. They fly tens of thousands of kilometres with little more than a few grams of grease. If one learns from the surface structure of the feathers and the wing movement, one can save huge amounts of kerosene. It is the same thing for swimming underwater. Inelastic hulks with propellers used by ships and submarines create vortexes to kill energy. Whales, an other water animals, are able to swim with no or little vortexes, perhaps they even use them for swimming.

For example the brown trout can stand motionless in a mountain stream and can swim at a high speed contrary to the water flow. This can be an attribute to the temperature and distribution of water. In case of pouring in hot water upriver, the brown trout is no able to hold the position and is flushed away downstream.

A most intriguing phenomenon is the fact, trout and salmon have the skill to jump several meters vertically in a waterfall. These fishes spawn in the headwaters of mountain streams plunging on their way downwards over dozens of meters.

Evidently flowing water over a ridge it spools in a greater vortex – every vortex consists of two of these – and in the inner one the fish will be carried away? In this area some experiments would be worth doing to clear up the laws of nature. Biology and physics has not come up with any idea re-acting to this topic so far.

There is a fowl similar to the guinea fowl – in German called Odinshühnchen- with an intriguing method of getting food in water. It generates a spiral at the bottom of the water with it´s webbed feet. From there the spiral lifts the substances from the bottom to the surface to feed the fowl.

Note: one can create a vortex in water lifting something from the ground level to the surface without significant energy input.

Many animals and plants create spiral or hyperbolic forms. Here is, for instance, a contemporary snail-shell and a fossil one.


Fig.: Snail-shell                                                       Fig.: Ammonite

The kudu antelope has specially formed horns which guided Viktor Schauberger to his invention the “Doppeldrallrohr”. The horn is hollow and has a tear like cross section. This encouraged experiments.


Fig.: Horn of a kudu antelope


Fig.: Cross section of kudu antelope horn