Whirlpools are fascinating phenomena that occur all around our planet. However, there is only a number of permanent whirlpools out there, and one of them is not too far from Edinburgh. Corryvreckan Whirlpool is the one in question, and it’s an extremely dangerous stretch of water surrounding the British Isles.
Corryvreckan Whirlpool is located between the islands Jura and Scarba in Argyll and Bute off the West Coast of Scotland. At its strongest, the whirlpool can reach currents over ten knots and cause waves that are over nine meters high. Yeah, we’re not going anywhere near there…
It is said the whirlpool’s “roar” gets so loud sometimes, you can hear it for miles on end, for up to ten miles.
How does the whirlpool work?
There are many islands near the coast of Argyll, which create a complex movement of water due to the tides. Basically, there are two tides only six miles apart that move the completely diagonally opposite directions, one tide being high and the other being low, creating the dangerous Corryvreckan Whirlpool that plunges 219 metres down into the hole.
Depending on the time of year, the strength and the direction of the wind, the size of the waves is also affected by the tides and the whirlpool. For example, when the wind is coming from the west, this creates particularly high waves up to nine meters. Unsurprisingly, the turbulent waters of the area are one of the most dangerous sea places around the UK.
Can you visit Corryvreckan Whirlpool?
While we’re gonna sit this one out, there are boat trips available for thrill seekers wanting to visit Corryvreckan Whirlpool in the Gulf of Corryvreckan. Venture West does short two-and-a-half-hour boat trips from Crinan Harbour, located three-and-a-half hours from Edinburgh.
Visitors will be able to witness the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, as well as some excellent views of the islands, wildlife spotting and views of landmarks. People have even spotted dolphins, sea eagles, porpoises, golden eagles and sometimes minke whales.