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The dark ring of smoke hovered for several minutes, a perfect circle floating on air, appearing to rotate a little but remain relatively well-formed in the cold air. She had no idea what it was and turned to TikTok for help.
Amused, viewers left comments like, “Watch out for Dementors!” Referring to the smoke-like evil creatures from the Harry Potter franchise. Others likened the dark ring of some to the circular smoky “writing” produced by the alien species in the movie Arrival or the magical portals opened by Dr. Strange. “Marvel has a fantastic marketing team,” said one commenter.
The truth is a little less fantastical, though no less fascinating. A ring like this is called a smoke vortex. Smoke vortices are caused by an explosive burst from a circular structure, such as a smokestack or even a volcanic shaft. They are often caused when an electrical transformer explodes, because those, too, are shaped like a cylinder.
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The overcast, pale white sky made this particular vortex look especially creepy and due to the cold temperature of the atmosphere, it could retain its shape and spin for quite a while, but despite how it looked, it did not portend any particular evil, other than the for the electrician who clearly had their work cut out for them.