Freak Waves

Freak Waves are extraordinarily huge waves with a height of 30-to-40 meters.

Normally, waves even in heavy storms don’t surpass a height of 15 meters. For a long time, the public doubted if freak waves actually existed in reality or if they just belonged to seaman’s fairy tales. But recent accountable reporting of ships and oil platforms either disappearing or surviving collision with such a wave has proved their existence and led to extensive research by various institutions. The waves occur mostly where the current of the ocean and the current of the waves, caused by the direction of the wind, have opposing directions. Freak waves arise either when these differing currents overlap, or when a longer wave overruns smaller waves, causing their amplitudes to add.

In contrast to a tsunami, such waves appear in the middle of the ocean, and can have a speed of 40 km/h and run for several hundred kilometers.

One single sudden huge wave is called the “Rogue”, while such waves appearing in a group of three are named, the “Three Sisters”. The third kind of freak wave is the “wave wall” or “white wall”, stretching several meters across the ocean.

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