Read the full experiment at http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/fire-tornado When you picture a tornado, most of us imagine a whirling column of air poking down from the clouds. But this tornado-like effect is not limited to just the air. A fire tornado or fire whirl is just like a tornado but it's made of fire. As the heated air from the fire rises, strong air currents (often whipping through the trees) cause the air molecules to spin (often referred to as angular or rotational momentum) which shapes the flame into the shape of a tornado.
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