A Steam devil caused by lava
entering the ocean
A steam devil is created when spinning air combines with steam or smoke. Steam devils are almost always found near power plants, but sometimes they happen in deserts or near hot springs.
Steam devils can also be caused by cold air, especially near the Great Lakes.
Images for kids
Figure 1. Steam devils on Lake Michigan 31 January 1971, from the paper which first named and reported the phenomenon.
Figure 2. Arctic sea fog with a narrow steam devil at 45°, Lake Champlain, Essex, New York, 15 January 2009
Figure 3. Steam devil at Big Island, Hawaii. The large plumes of vapour are caused by lava entering the ocean.