A common and dangerous anomaly, which snatches its victims up in the air and spins them at a breakneck speed. The exact nature of the Whirligig remains unknown. The anomaly can be recognized by a light whirlwind of dust above and by body fragments scattered in the vicinity. Victims caught on its outer rim, far enough from the maximum effect zone at the center, can escape the Whirligig with relatively minor injuries.
In game, when one is too close to the anomaly when it is triggered, the Whirligig will violently pull the victim upward, which continues to severely damage the victim until it discharges, and that discharge is powerful enough to dismember the victim's body purely by the sheer force exerted. It is not as easily avoidable as the Vortex and because it elevates its victims into the air, escaping once within the effective radius is practically impossible since jumping and sprinting is ineffective.
Even though the damage done by the Whirligig is less than that of a Vortex, the Whirligig can be considered more dangerous as it is very hard to escape, and the Vortex does have its weak aspects.
The basic characteristics are easily recognizable. When activated the Whirligig discharges as a tornado or whirlwind. Similar to the Vortex anomaly and its idle 'warping' sound, the Whirligig emits a low, rumbling tone at random intervals, which allows the anomaly to be easily told apart from the rest of the gravitational anomalies, provided that it has yet to be triggered.
In the first two games of the series, the Whirligig is the 'middle' of the three gravity elements, stronger than the Springboard but weaker than the Vortex. In Call of Pripyat however, the Whirligig is far more rare than either of those, and can normally instant kill even the most well protected stalker due to its long range and grievous crushing damage (for which there is no direct protection).
Whirligig anomalies are only deadly when they are pulling everything near them until their aerial detonation. Once they detonate, it is rendered harmless for split second, allowing one to pass through them if they are blocking a path for a very brief moment of safe passage before the anomaly becomes active again. Do note that with very careful and deliberate movements, you can walk to the trigger radius of a whirligig anomaly and still be outside its vacuum radius, triggering it but not causing you to be sucked up to it, and allowing it to be inert for a split second for you to sprint past it if needed. Doing a quick save before attempting this is generally a good move to do in the event you fail to do this correctly.
Shadow of Chernobyl Edit
This anomaly can be encountered in Cordon near the Rookie village and a cluster can be found to the east of the camp of the bandits in Garbage that were attacking Bes. Other Whirlgigs are found on the road past the Duty checkpoint and a large amount of them can be found at the Pripyat stadium, usually killing the numerous Pseudogiants in the area. A few can be found outside the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Clear Sky Edit
A small anomaly field consisting of these anomalies can be found in Garbage near the entrance in the Dark Valley. Apart form that, they are virtually present practically everywhere except the Cordon It is also now referred to as a "Meat Grinder" by some stalkers.
- Various Artifacts
Note: in Clear Sky the Gas anomaly now spawns the Meat Chunk, Soul and Stone Blood anomalies.
Call of Pripyat Edit
Whirlgigs are a rather rare sight in the game, and has only two locations. The first one is floating above the Claw Anomaly in Zaton, while the second one is located at the School anomaly in Pripyat. Large amounts of them are found in the Jupiter Underground, though if the player has recruited Vano, he will safely guide the team past them.
- A whirligig is an object that spins or whirls. It is also the name for a medival torture device.
- In the earlier and unpatched versions (SoC), a rare glitch may occur: an entity (stalker or mutant) trapped in this anomaly is stuck either constantly spinning in the air, or left frozen in mid-air.
- One rather amusing thing to do is drag bodies into this type of anomaly, and watch how the anomaly both spins and shreds its victims. Keep in mind that doing so will also destroy any items on destroyed bodies.
- In Clear Sky, it is worth looking for weapons and other equipment around Whirligig Anomalies, especially in Yantar. Sometimes, the anomalies will snatch up NPCs, kill them and dump weapons or other equipment onto the ground. The weapons and equipment can be collected as normal, but if they are collected and then dropped on the ground, they will float in the air at about 1 to 2 meters high. The Whirligig Anomalies seem to give weapons and equipment some anti-gravity properties.