Thailand holidaymakers couldn’t believe their eyes when they spotted the quadruple waterspout off the island of Koh Lipe.
An amazing viral video shows crowds gathering on a beach and looking out across the sea at the meteorological phenomenon.
Enormous dark storm clouds loom menacingly over the islands as the tourists photograph and film the sight.
Four giant columnar vortexes spiral between the black clouds and the sea.
Water can be seen shooting up into the air as the storm hits the sea’s surface.
One person in the video can be heard saying: “Oh my god, what is it?”
A man is overheard commenting: “That’s a cyclone, it’s sucking up the water.”
According to the USA’s National Ocean Service, there are two categories of waterspouts, fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.
Fair weather waterspouts – which appear to be forming in the clip – usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds.
“This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms,” the Ocean Service wrote on its website.
“While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward.
“By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity.
“Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.”
The video from Koh Lipe – in southern Thailand – was filmed Kim Puyu, who works on the island.
Kim told MailOnline: “I’ve never seen anything like this before.
“I’ve not even seen one waterspout, so it was amazing to see four of them together.”
“The weather here is very dramatic because it’s an island in the ocean. Before the clouds came there was strong sun and it was hot. Then, out of nowhere, the dark clouds appeared.”
According to the Ocean Service: “Typically, fair weather waterspouts dissipate rapidly when they make landfall, and rarely penetrate far inland.”
The US has been battered with bad weather today which has affected thousands of flights.
More than 900 flights were cancelled yesterday ahead of the snowstorm, dubbed Storm Bruce, battering the country.
According to flight-tracking website Flight Aware, hundreds of flights have been grounded at Chicago airports including Chicago O’Hare, a large hub for United and American Airlines.