Hurricanes, accompanied by waterspouts, sometimes cause much devastation; but, on the whole, the islands are singularly free from such visitations.
Franklin wrote a paper on the causes of earthquakes for his Gazette of the 15th of December 1737; and he eagerly collected material to uphold his theory that waterspouts and whirlwinds resulted from the same causes.
His papers, which are numerous, are devoted in great part to atmospheric electricity, waterspouts, cyanometry and polarization of skylight, the temperature of water in the spheroidal state, and the boilingpoint at great elevations.
"The Algonkins say that birds always make the winds, that they create the waterspouts, and that the clouds are the spreading and agitation of their wings."
Terrific thunderstorms are also common at that period; waterspouts are sometimes seen; and as the Indian Ocean cyclone region touches the eastern coast, hurricanes occur every few years, at rare intervals ascending into the interior highland.