There are five great permanent tidal whirlpools in the world: off of Maine, the Old Sow Whirlpool has supposedly sunk ships; Japan's Naruto Whirlpools can be seen from space; Corryvreckan, off of Scotland, is the third largest; next is the original Maelstrom in Norway, which inspired Poe's story; and the most powerful of all is the Norse Saltstraumen [video]. All of these pale in comparison to the whirlpool formed in 1980 on Lake Peigneur in Louisiana, where a drilling rig penetrated a salt mine under the lake and 3.5 billion gallons of water drained away in three hours through a swirling vortex, as can be seen in this documentary excerpt.
The Washing Machine That Ate My Sari: Mistakes in Cross-Cultural Design is a fascinating article about making cross-culturally sensitive products for the Indian market. The title refers to how the Whirlpool company's introduction of the World Washer into India proved to be a financial disaster, because a millimeter gap between the washer's agitator and its drum ended up shredding most traditional Indian clothing. You can also read about how the Indian preference for warm milk at breakfast turned Kellogg's corn flakes into a big flop in India.
A massive whirlpool, has a appeared off the coast of Sydney, Australia. I wonder if it spins counterclockwise?