The waterspout at Kythera, Greece.
© Notos Press
The waterspout at Kythera, Greece.
A waterspout formed off the coast of the island of Kythera on Monday. A waterspout is a cylindrical vortex that forms over water and connects to the clouds in the sky.

Waterspouts are typically known as 'sea-tornadoes.' These rotating winds appear to reach down to the sea and take it up as they spiral into the air, but in reality, the water inside the spout originates in the clouds above and snakes its way down to the sea.

Such weather events can be extremely dangerous, especially when they occur over dry land in the form of twisters and tornadoes. Human fatalities from these vortexes are typically between 300-400 each year, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

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The United States is the capital of the world for such extreme weather, averaging 1,200 vortexes annually, nearly four times the amount in the entirety of Europe.

Although these sea tornados can be dangerous, they are most deadly when they make landfall or form on dry land. Luckily, the threat to Kythera was contained to the water, and no fatalities have been reported.

Kythera is typically a peaceful, serene destination, and such waterspouts are not frequent occurrences. A unique Greek island full of majestic beaches and green mountainous terrain, Kythera is a lesser-known Greek island, as it is overshadowed in fame by Antikythera and the its amazing Antikythera Mechanism, discovered off its shores.

The island is opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It was inhabited in ancient times and has the oldest sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite.

Through the 19th century, it was a trade crossroads of several civilizations and cultures, including Greek, Venetian, and Ottoman.