Can the “Maelstrom of the Lofoten Basin” swallow ships?

ClimateSnack

In 1841 the American poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe published a story entitled ‘A descent into the Maelstrom’ (Poe, 1841). This early form of science fiction contains a breathtaking episode of a ship immersing into a giant whirlpool close to the Norwegian coast (fig. 1). In the book, two observers watch from the top of a mountain as the Maelstrom forms out at sea:

“In a few minutes more, there came over the scene another radical alteration. The general surface grew somewhat more smooth, and the whirlpools, one by one, disappeared, while prodigious streaks of foam became apparent where none had been seen before. These streaks, at length, spreading out to a great distance, and entering into

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