An artificial tornado in Germany’s Mercedes-Benz Museum was recognized Monday by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s tallest man-made twister.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The air swirl, created by air jets in the multi-storey gallery of the remarkable spiral building, does no harm. In fact it was installed to save lives if fire ever breaks out.

Testers from Guinness, a British-based publisher, confirmed the museum’s tornado was 34.43 metres high.

The 144 jets take seven minutes to get the 28 tons of air moving at top speed, creating a low-pressure column at the "eye" of the circulation to suck in smoke and carry it up to vents in the roof.

The purpose is to stop suffocating smoke spreading into exhibition areas if fire ever breaks out. Museum chief executive Michael Bock said the system was unique worldwide and was specially designed for the building.

Carbon dioxide vapor fed into the tornado to make it visible shows it as a twisting column about 40 centimetres wide.

More pictures after the jump.

Image Gallery: Spiegel
Source: Eux