A Terrifying 30-Meter-Tall 'Fire Tornado' in Australia's Outback

Filmmaker Chris Tangey captured a rare phenomenon on video: a vortex of flames rising up from a wildfire. 

Filmmaker Chris Tangey captured a rare phenomenon on video last week: a vortex of flames rising up from a wildfire. Also called "fire whirls" or "fire devils," the tornadoes form when an updraft of air interacts with a fire to create a spinning column. Tangey's footage, via his YouTube channel, is protected with a watermark, but you can see the video sans text in the 7 News video below. 

In the broadcast segment, the filmmaker describes the scene:

It was a dance of giants in front of me. I've never seen anything like it. It was awe-inspiring ... We saw a red tornado, a black one, a white one, and then several made of pure fire. It was 50 meters at its base of fire, spinning, with fire, and it was actually picking up mulga trees.

Via The Guardian and Garance Franke-Ruta. 

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Video

Just In