Last week, Hurricane Irma shocked the world by decimating the island nations of the Caribbean. Now that the powerful storm has made landfall in the US and the Bahamas, a terrifying rare phenomenon is occurring that has left residents in absolute disbelief – and it could be the sign of something much worse to come.

Tropical force winds have already left more than 2.6 million homes without power, but those winds have started blowing toward the center of the storm, and have consequentially drawn the waters of beaches in both Florida and the Bahamas away from their shores. According to Washington Post weather editor Angela Fritz, Irma’s low pressure is the cause, which acts as a “sucking mechanism — it sucks the air into it, and when it’s really low, it can change the shape of the surface of the ocean.” The sight is definitely bizarre, but it’s also worrying. When a shoreline recedes enough to reveal the ocean floor, it’s often a sign that the water will rush back rapidly with destructive momentum.

The environmental impact of Irma is already being felt by Floridians, both human and animal alike. Two manatees had to be rescued yesterday after the low tide left them stuck in mud and unable to return to the ocean. Follow the entire story below, and find out how you can help here.

Hurricane Irma has reached Florida and the Bahamas, and a rare phenomenon is taking place in both places

Image credits: deejayeasya

Beaches have become ‘dry’ as tropical winds have pulled their ocean tides far away from the shore

Image credits: deejayeasya

Image credits: Piznack

This is due to the storm’s low pressure, which acts as a “sucking mechanism” according to weather specialists

Image credits: keonavanessa

Image credits: jillianmele

Two of Florida’s marine residents recently felt the already-worrying environmental impacts of Irma

Image credits: ManateeSheriff

Image credits: Marcelo Clavijo

One Bahamian forecaster took to Facebook to explain the bizarre sight in greater detail

If you still can’t believe it, see it for yourself on video below: