Hay Devil: vortex whips field into an amazing sight


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This is called a “dust devil” down in Arizona. I’ve seen them reach 100’s of feet up into the sky. Mesmerizing. As a kid it was also fun to let a balloon or even a piece of paper get caught up in one and watch it soar into the sky.

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We have a lot of these in Kansas as well and call them dust and water devils. Sometimes you can see 3-4 going in a field at the same time and as akahans said, they can reach very high and are mesmerizing. Here are a few examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_3-THzFjmk

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When I was in college, we used to see these things occasionally wandering around the prairie-dog fields on the edge of campus. They seemed to behave quite wilfully and occasionally even looked like they were playing pranks. I remember seeing one just sort of hovering there in the middle of a field for a couple of minutes, looking completely inoffensive before suddenly racing off a good hundred meters at well over 20 MPH to surround and seriously fluster a girl walking home from class. It really looked very deliberate because it stopped as soon as it got to her. Such is anthropomorphism.

Never seem to see them on the east coast, though, at least nothing more than a tiny one created in a corner for a few seconds.


From what I can see, that would in fact be a “straw devil”.

I speed up to drive right through one at it passed the road out in the desert there in AZ. I was ecstatic after passing through it, but my GF at the time was a bit less impressed. I don’t recall it shaking the car or anything as we passed through it, but it was thrilling nonetheless (for me).

I agree about the anthropomorphism. Often we see them seemingly move in deliberate ways to get to people or things and almost everyone talks about them as if they are animals not wind

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When I was a teenager I was biking down a southwestern Ontario road with a friend. Most of SW ON is farmland, with clumps of bush/forest and lakes, small towns with a few big cities, etc…

It was late fall, and I remember looking over to my left and noticed that the dried remains of the corn field were rising up into the air in a circular pattern. I dropped my bike and ran into the path of the motion.

I vividly remember being hit in one direction with wind and a bit of debris, a slight pause in the middle, and then back the other way, then watching it hit the trees on the other side of the road.

One of the strongest experiences I remember of that time and I have no doubt it influenced my tornado/weather dreams and my desire to see an actual tornado… from a safe place…

What we are seeing here is the further evolution of the energy that creates crop circles. It has made the leap to three dimensions, but it may take a few iterations before it can achieve a stable form. We are in for some surprises.


Here’s a much longer video from 1994:

Hay devil, S. Burlington VT

That is awesome. I love that it looks like they’re creating it themselves. Is it actually from 1994? That’s INXS’ “I Need You Tonight” at the beginning, I think, and it’s Casey Kasem’s top 40 countdown. Though, he might do throwbacks in his countdown, it’s been a million years since I listened to the top 40 countdown.

I suppose they first had to wait for Youtube to exist. See the video caption on youtube, upload was 2008.

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