Residents of Penang, a coastal city in Malaysia, had the scare of their lives on Monday 1st April when An immense water tornado, or waterspout, nearly ravaged the entirety of the coastline. The natural phenomenon in the video below does have a scientific explanation, despite how unreal the images may seem.
The waterspout ripped the roofs off several houses and felled multiple trees in the Tanjung Tokong suburb of the city after appearing just a short distance offshore mere minutes beforehand. Thankfully, none of the city’s roughly 200,000 residents were injured during the rare weather event on Monday.
A waterspout is a mix of rotating air and water. It’s an extremely rare occurrence that takes place when cold air passes above hot water. Waterspouts, however, are generally less dangerous than normal tornadoes, as they disappear once they hit dry land.
The inhabitants of Penang had time to film this incredible phenomenon, since the waterspout remained active for over 40 minutes—resulting in images that look like they came straight from a sci-fi film.