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Charybdis  (kuh-RIB-dis)

Mythological whirlpool off the coast of Sicily that sucked down vast quantities of water three times a day. Together with the monster Scylla, Charybdis was one of twin perils faced by Odysseus. The hero had been warned by Circe that the whirlpool could only be avoided at the cost of passing beneath the cliff harboring Scylla's lair. Sure enough, he timed his passage and steered clear of Charybdis only to lose six sailors to the many-headed Scylla.
Before venturing out to sea, give careful thought to such perils of the deep as Scylla and Charybdis. (zoom)