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WATCH: Terrifying 'Dust Devil,' A Phenomenon Occuring in Mars, Spotted in Belarus

Jul 06, 2016 06:00 PM EDT
Dust Devil
Photo of dust devil
(Photo : Flickr/Creative Commons/Christopher)

An amazing yet terrifying dust devil was recently spotted in Belarus.

Witnesses were able to film the brisk wind sweeping across a construction site in Minsk.

The bone-chilling weather phenomenon traveled across the construction yard and railway tracks before vanishing into the air.

Dust devils are comparable to tornadoes because they are both vertically oriented rotating column of wind, but dust storms are smaller than tornadoes.

According to NASA Science, they are formed when heated less-dense air close to the ground goes above, joining the layer of cooler denser air before spinning vertically in convection cells. 

This phenomenon also occurs in Mars. Astronomers call it the "Martian Devil."

If a horizontal wind blows through convection cells that are already circulating vertically, "it turns the convection cells on their sides, so they begin spinning horizontally, forming vertical columns--and starting a dust devil,"  explains Mark T. Lemmon, associate research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A & M University to NASA Science.

On earth, dust devils are common in dry desert locations such as the American Southwest, Africa, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

This is not the first time a phenomenon that involves dust and strong winds was spotted in Belarus. A humongous dust storm was also seen last year in Soligorks, one of its cities.

Videos of last year's incident showed how the bizarre weather turned the daylight of Belarus into night.
New York Post labeled it as an "apocalyptic" batch of weather.

An article in TIME attempted to explain the phenomenon that occurred in Soligorks saying, "a cold front near the border with Ukraine created the epic dust storm," which is rare in the region.

Dust storms commonly occur in hot and dry conditions and it occurs in various forms, as it is largely affected by the scale of origination, climate conditions, among others.

Dust Storm
(Photo : Flickr/Creative Commons/Sydney Oats)
Dust storm sweeping across houses

National Geographic notes that it is called "haboob," which is the Arabic term for "violent winds."

Ken Waters, a meteorologist with the U.S. Weather Service in Phoenix who studies the phenomena, told National Geographic that disruptions to transportation and potentially dangerous air quality are typically the two biggest impacts of the storm.

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