We investigate the evolution of localized blobs of swirling or buoyant fluid in an infinite, inviscid, electrically conducting fluid. We consider the three cases of a strong imposed magnetic field, a weak imposed magnetic field, and no magnetic field. For a swirling blob in the absence of a magnetic field, we find, in line with others, that the blob bursts radially outward under the action of the centrifugal force, forming a thin annular vortex sheet. A simple model of this process predicts that the vortex sheet thins exponentially fast and that it moves radially outward with constant velocity. These predictions are verified by high-resolution numerical simulations. When an intense magnetic field is applied, this phenomenon is suppressed, with the energy and angular momentum of the blob now diffusing axially along the magnetic field lines, converting the blob into a columnar structure. For modest or weak magnetic fields, there are elements of both types of behavior, with the radial bursting dominating over axial diffusion for weak fields. However, even when the magnetic field is very weak, the flow structure is quite distinct to that of the nonmagnetic case. In particular, a small but finite magnetic field places a lower bound on the thickness of the annular vortex sheet and produces an annulus of counter-rotating fluid that surrounds the vortex core. The behavior of the buoyant blob is similar. In the absence of a magnetic field, it rapidly develops the mushroomlike shape of a thermal, with a thin vortex sheet at the top and sides of the mushroom. Again, a simple model of this process predicts that the vortex sheet at the top of the thermal thins exponentially fast and rises with constant velocity. These predictions are consistent with earlier numerical simulations. Curiously, however, it is shown that the net vertical momentum associated with the blob increases linearly in time, despite the fact that the vertical velocity at the front of the thermal is constant. As with the swirling blob, an imposed magnetic field inhibits the formation of a vortex sheet. A strong magnetic field completely suppresses the phenomenon, replacing it with an axial diffusion of momentum, while a weak magnetic field allows the sheet to form, but places a lower bound on its thickness. The magnetic field does not, however, change the net vertical momentum of the blob, which always increases linearly with time.