A vortex of bubbles forms like a lasso in the waters off the coast of Socorro Island, where cold California currents collide with warm equatorial waters. It’s a seasonal phenomenon in Mexico’s “little Galápagos”, approximately 240 miles (390 kilometers) southwest of Cabo San Lucas, and it’s fascinating to watch. Bonus: the twirling bubbles spin a few pufferfish. Watch them try to escape the swirling vortex with their tiny fins in this clip from The Smithsonian Channel’s Secrets of Shark Island.

Then watch more videos in Mexico, more island videos, and more vortex videos, including how to make a Crazy Pool Vortex, giant wingtip vortices in the fog as an airplane lands, and the physics of why birds fly in V-formation.

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