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Giant Waterspout Spotted Off Greek Island of Kythera

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.

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.

History of the Greek Island of Kythera

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Medieval Castle at Kythera, Chora. Credit: Ziegler175 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Venetian rule marked the culture and idiosyncrasy of Kytherians. It contributed to their excellence in the arts, politics and commerce.

Due to the historical relationship between the

 Ionian Islands

 and Italy, many Kytherians studied in Italian cities.

Several Greek politicians and prominent academics hail from Kythera. General Panos Koroneos served as Minister of War in the mid-1800s; Panagiotis Tsitsilias was a Liberal Party MP; Spiridon Stais was MP for Harilaos Trikoupis’ party and Minister of Education.

Also, Grigorios Kassimatis was a distinguished academic; MP Grigorios L. Kassimatis fought in the Resistance; Giorgos Kassimatis was one of the most distinguished professors at the Law School of Athens and a writer.

In the arts and literature, 

Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo)

 – also known for his roots in Lefkada – is Japan’s national poet and lived in Kythera in the second half of the 19th century.

Painter Georgios Drizos, the engraver and lithographer Vasilios Charos, the painter and engraver Manolis Charos, photographers Panagiotis Fatseas and Manolis Sofios, were all artists whose body of work makes a priceless cultural heritage for the island.

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