01/05/2014 11:31 BST | Updated 02/05/2014 09:59 BST

Tornados Recorded On The Surface Of The Sun

When it comes to the Sun, you should always expect to be surprised.

The latest oddity spotted on the surface of the ball of plasma on which all life depends is a series of whirling tornados.

The Twisters were spotted by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory in a recent video on

But while they look very odd, and has some extraordinary properties (they are the size of planets, and can rise up to 100,000 miles above the solar surface) such twisters are a regular occurrence on the Sun.

They are caused by the interaction of the huge magnetic forces on the Sun with the charged plasma which ripples in the sun's atmosphere.

And they're not just beautiful - they're important. One study suggested recently that these Twisters can spin at more than 6,000 miles per hour, and could be responsible for the face that the surface of the sun is so much cooler than the atmosphere.

We could even one day harness these forces to make power on Earth.

"If we understand how nature heats up magnetized plasmas, like in the tornadoes observed in the Sun, one day we may be able to use this process to develop the necessary technology and build devices on Earth that produce free, clean, green energy," said lead author Professor Robertus Erdélyi from the University of Sheffield.