An astonished filmmaker is coming to grips with the moment he witnessed one of nature's rarest phenomenons - a tornado comprised entirely of fire- and lived to tell the tale. Chris Tangey had been out in Alice Springs, Australia, scouting locations for a new movie. After finishing the task, he went over to help workers at a cattle station when he was confronted by one of nature's most intimidating spectacles.
SCIENCE BEHIND THE STORM
These fire tornadoes are a natural rarity, but when they occur they predictably cause significant damage.
A fire tornado, also know as a fire devil, is caused when a column of warm, rising air comes into contact - or causes - a fire on the ground.
These fire whirls are known to last for around two minutes on the very rare occasions they take place.
But Mr Tangey found himself mesmerized by the tornado for more than 40 minutes.
The 52-year-old said: 'The weather was perfectly still and it was about 25 degrees celsius - it was an entirely uneventful day.
'Then the next thing a man is yelling 'what the hell is that?' and I turned around and saw a 30-metre fire tornado.
'I was about 300-metres away and there was no wind but the tornado sounded like a fighter jet. My jaw just dropped.'
Mr Tangey, who runs Alice Springs Film and Television, in central Australia, described it as a 'once in ten lifetimes experience'.