A long time ago, I took a course on fluid dynamics. We studied all sorts of things and one of which was turbulence versus laminar flow. Laminar flow is the smooth movement of a fluid. It’s what makes planes fly. Turbulence, however, is a totally different animal.
During lecture, we discussed how we still do not have an acceptable mathematical model to determine what causes turbulence and how it propagates. We’ve tried modeling such things as swirls of gas/liquid in random areas but it’s quite cumbersome and does not really precisely model what we see in a wind tunnel.
This is simply because it is too chaotic. There are too many variables governing how a fluid flows in a turbulent environment. It’s simply an intractable problem even with he aid of computers.
The photo below reminded me of this. The swirls created by the hull of the ship dragging through the water reminded me of turbulence and disturbed flow of fluids.
Taken with iPhone 4.