VIDEO: Rare waterspout caught on camera off Italian coast

A huge waterspout was caught on camera as it moved over the ocean off the coast of Italy last week.

The vortex moved through the Tyrrhenian Sea, near the Roman town of Fiumicino, before collapsing around 15 minutes later. Video footage posted to Facebook by startled resident Fazioli Bruno shows the rotating column of wind and water reaching from the surface of the water to the clouds.

This rare weather phenomenon, which only forms over bodies of water, can be caused when the wind blows in opposite directions and water vapour is pulled upwards towards the sky.

Take a look at the incredible footage in the video below:

According to National Geographic, there are two major types of waterspouts: tornadic waterspouts and fair-weather waterspouts. Tornadic waterspouts start as true tornadoes. Influenced by winds associated with severe thunderstorms, air rises and rotates on a vertical axis. They are the most powerful and destructive type of waterspouts.  

Fair-weather waterspouts, however, are much more common and rarely dangerous. The clouds from which they descend are not fast-moving, so fair-weather waterspouts are often static. They are associated with developing storm systems, but not storms themselves.

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