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Staring Into This Swirling Vortex is Oddly Calming

Enter the void.
Rachel Pick
New York, US

If you're feeling that midweek malaise, try staring into this vortex for a minute.

Created when water enters the Denison Dam spillway—a structure designed to relieve pressure on a dam by funneling water downstream—this intake vortex can discharge 100,000 cubic feet of water per second. There are several types of spillways, and this terrifying construction is called a bell-mouth or "glory hole" spillway. (I kid you not.)

The Denison Dam is located on the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma, creating a lake inventively named Lake Texoma. As this area has been hit hard by heavy rain and flooding in the past several weeks, the spillway has been working overtime. As of late May, the lake had reached a record elevation and actually breached the spillway by several feet.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, who filmed the video, add that the vortex is eight feet across and "capable of sucking in a full-sized boat." But viewed from the distance of cyberspace, watching the vortex do its job has a pleasantly narcotic effect. Go ahead, let it drain your stress away.