Record-breaking 78 feet freak wave recorded in the South Pacific

May 11, 2018

A few decades ago rogue waves also known as monster waves were still dismissed as sailor's myth. But they really do exist - and buoys keep measuring new peaks.

Two days ago solar-powered buoy, located near New Zealand's Campbell Island, measured a record 23.8 meters (78 feet) monster wave. This is the tallest ever recorded wave in the Southern Hemisphere, according to New Zealand meteorology and oceanography consultancy. Since this buoy records wave heights only every three hours for every 20 minutes, it is not excluded that other waves could have been even higher.

The new peak surpassed the previous monster wave from 2012 when off the coast of Australia was recorded a 22.03-meter wave. In contrast, the world’s tallest wave was recorded in the North Atlantic: near the Scottish island of Rockall, when the British research vessel RRS Discovery registered waves of up to 29 meters (95 feet) in February 2000.

How and where monster wave’s form is still unclear. Freak waves present considerable danger for ships because they are rare, unpredictable, and may appear suddenly without warning.

In 2001 Just days apart, two cruise ships, the Bremen and the Caledonian Star have their bridge windows smashed by waves estimated to be 100 feet tall in the South Atlantic. The wall of water damaged the ships and knocked out the power supply.

Cunard’s ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II was struck by a freak wave estimated at 95 feet in 1995 in the North Atlantic. The large, well-built vessel suffered little damage and few injuries were reported.

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