Maine is home to many awesome natural wonders, including one of the biggest whirlpools on earth.

It's certainly not the colossal watery vortex that swallows up huge ships in sea stories, but it's still a cool sight. Old Sow Whirlpool is located between Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada, and Moose Island, Eastport, Maine. It's the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere, and among the biggest in the world.

According to the Old Sow website, the whirlpool is formed by the tremendous amounts of tidal water that rushes into the Western Passage of Passamaquoddy Bay. Below the surface are trenches and an underwater mountain that also causes the turbulent churning of the water. It's rare, but at times, Old Sow does create a major funnel. However, for the most part Old Sow forms a large area of eddies, boils, spouts, holes, and numerous gyres.

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The local legend says the name "Old Sow" stems from the pig-like noise the whirlpool makes when it's violently churning. On both sides of the border, charter boats will pilot visitors through the whirlpool. The trip is generally safe in motorized boats, but not recommended in canoes or kayaks.

If your curious, Old Sow is the second largest in the world – dwarfed only by the Maelstrom Whirlpool in Norway.

LOOK: Full List of the Best Places to Live in Maine

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Maine using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks.

Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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