This mesmerising whirlpool is as deadly as it is beautiful.
The image was taken by paraglider Scott Patman in Western Australia, just south of Perth, on Friday.
It made its way onto Dr Rip’s Science of the Surf Facebook page, where it has earned over 100 likes.
Dr Rob Brander, who describes himself as a “surf scientist” and beach safety educator from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, explains:
"Some crazy rip action in Western Australia south of Perth. Giant swirls heading off the beach. Looks like you can get sucked into one! Well, they look worse than they are... When you get big, clean swell hitting the beach at a strong angle, you get strong longshore currents that can peel offshore forming eddies. Very impressive though."
Getting caught in a rip current can be dangerous as swimmers can easily be swept from shallow water out beyond their depth. (Scroll down for an education video by the University of New South Wales, in which Dr Brander reveals a rip current can flow out to sea "even faster than Olympic swimmers".)
Advice from Britain's RNLI Lifeboats charity is to obey the "three Rs", which are to relax, swimming across the current, not against it, raise an arm to signal for help and rescue. "Float and wait for assistance. Do not panic; people drown in rips because they panic."
WATCH: How to avoid and survive rip currents
This astronaut photograph taken on Nov. 27, 2010, provides a view of tidal flats and channels near Sandy Cay, on the western side of Long Island, and along the eastern margin of the Great Bahama Bank, on the islands of Bahamas. The continuously exposed parts of the island are brown, a result of soil formation and vegetation growth. To the north of Sandy Cay, an off-white tidal flat composed of carbonate sediments is visible; light blue-green regions indicate shallow water on the tidal flat.
Egypt's Lake Nasser was photographed in January 2005 from the International Space Station.
Tassili n'Ajjer National Park, part of the Sahara Desert, has a bone-dry climate with scant rainfall, yet it doesn't blend in with Saharan dunes. Instead, the rocky plateau rises above the surrounding sand seas. This image from 2000 was made from multiple observations by the Landsat 7 satellite, using a combination of infrared, near-infrared and visible light to better distinguish among the park's various rock types.
Hydrogen Sulfide and Dust Plumes on Namibia's Coast
Cloudless skies allowed a clear view of dust and hydrogen sulfide plumes along the coast of Namibia in early August 2010. Multiple dust plumes blow off the coast toward the ocean, most or all of them probably arising from stream beds. Unlike the reddish-tan sands comprising the dunes directly south of the Kuiseb River, the stream-channel sediments are lighter in color. Wind frequently pushes dust plumes seaward along the Namibian coast.
The Nile River and its delta look like a brilliant, long-stemmed flower in this astronaut photograph of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, as seen from the International Space Station on Oct. 28, 2010. The Cairo metropolitan area forms a particularly bright base of the flower.
Islands of Four Mountains
The snow-capped volcanoes composing the Islands of the Four Mountains in Alaska's Aleutian Island chain look suspiciously like alien worlds in this August 2010 image from the ASTER camera aboard NASA's orbiting Terra satellite.
This NASA image shows the aurora australis observed from the International Space Station on May 29, 2010. This aurora image was taken during a geomagnetic storm that was most likely caused by a coronal mass ejection from the sun on May 24.
Astronauts at the International Space Station captured this striking view of the Sarychev volcano on Russia's Kuril Islands in an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009. Sarychev Peak is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Islands chain.
NASA's Terra satellite was rounding the top of the globe -- making its way from the eastern tip of Siberia and across the Arctic Ocean toward northwest Russia -- when it captured this unique view of a total solar eclipse on Aug. 1, 2008. In the area shown in the image, the sun was obscured for about two minutes. As Earth rotated, the shadow moved southeast across the surface. At the same time, the satellite crossed the Arctic with its path nearly perpendicular to the eclipse.
The Advanced Land Imager on NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite shows a snowy blanket over Fargo, N.D., on Dec. 12.
Astronauts captured this image highlighting the northern entry to Mount Everest from Tibet on Jan. 6. Climbers travel along the East Rongbuk Glacier, shown on the lower left, to camp at the base of Changtse mountain.
The south end of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas shimmers in turquoise waters in this 2002 photo from the International Space Station.
A massive sandstorm sweeps over Qatar as it races south toward southeastern Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Feb. 15, 2004. A major upper-level, low-pressure system over southwestern Asia led to a series of storms sweeping through the area. The crew of the International Space Station captured this image with a digital camera using a 50-millimeter lens.
Lake Naivasha, Kenya
Flowers grow year round in sun-drenched Kenya, and nowhere are they more plentiful than Lake Naivasha, shown here. In this view from space, bright white squares mix with fields of green, tan and purple along the shores of the lake. Sunlight glints off the long rows of glass greenhouses, turning them silvery blue and white. Fallow fields are tan and pink, while growing plants turn the ground bright green. Roses, lilies and carnations are the most common flowers grown in the greenhouses and fields scattered around the lake.
Cumulonimbus Cloud Over Africa
High above the African continent, tall, dense cumulonimbus clouds, meaning "cloud heap" in Latin, are the result of atmospheric instability. The clouds can form alone, in clusters or along a cold front in a squall line. The high energy of these storms is associated with heavy precipitation, lightning, high wind speeds and tornadoes.
NASA Released New Images of Earth at Night
The new images were taken over 22 days by a satellite imaging system and provide the most detailed look yet at the world's night lights.