Saltstraumen is the worlds largest tidal current. The maelstrom is created in a 3 kilometer long and 150 meter wide strait between the Skjerstad Fjord and the Salten Fjord, 32 kilometres from Bodø town centre.
400 million cubic meters of water flow through Saltstraumen n about 6 hours, balancing high and low tide between the two fjord basins.
The maelstraum can reach speeds up to 20 knots. Natures own "Bubble Bath" makes charachteristic whirlpools up to 10 meters in diameter. Locally these are called "cauldrons".
The direction of the current changes every 6 hours or so. For a short period the strait lays quite still, before the current picks up speed and the masses of water again cascades like a river. Nature's regularity causes this to happen four times a day. The time table is available at the tourist imformation office, at the nearby hotel and the camp site imformation kiosk.
The maelstrom brings food for large quantities of fish- Seagulls and fishermen gather round this wealth. The power of the maelstrom varies throughout the day, due to the moons positions, summer and winter solstice, wind and air pressure. Therefore the impression of teh maelstrom might not always be as overwhelming as when the current is strongest.
At the time of this picture, the current had just started running outwards, and would reach it's maximum power 1hour 10 minutes later.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.