GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — What would happen if two hurricanes ran into each other? How about two tornadoes?

Well more often than not, the bigger one eats the smaller one, but if they’re similar sizes something crazy can happen. The hurricanes begin an intense dance around one another before being slingshotted off on their own paths. This is called the Fujiwhara effect.

You can see it during the April 2011 Super Outbreak, considered to be the largest tornado outbreak ever, where cyclones over the Midwest and Great Lakes rotated around each other. It doesn’t only happen on large scales though. Tornadoes in Oklahoma did the dance this May and the 2.6-mile-wide El Reno, Oklahoma tornado did something similar.

In a way, it resembles the gravitational interaction of two objects in space. NASA scientists use a similar though slightly different phenomenon to slingshot their rockets around planets, gaining speed for their journey.