Water And Oceanography

What is a Rogue Wave

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"What is a Rogue Wave"
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A rogue wave is a wave of great size that appears suddenly and often in calm waters. Rogue waves can hit during a storm or on the balmiest of trips and at any time of day, night, or year. As such, there is no way to predict them and very little research material to study. Only a few videos exist, most of poor quality, and if not for oil rig cameras, the existence of rogue waves may still be myth.

What is a rogue wave? Size

A rogue wave exceeds 50 feet in nearly every reported encounter and survivors tell of being knocked from their tenth floor bedroom by a wall of water. On the 10th floor, that means the wave was roughly 90 feet tall. This is also measured by damage to lines, masts, and other equipment. A recent video also confirms this.

A rogue wave differs from a tidal wave in that there is a single large wave. Tidal waves have many ripples that comes ashore and cause severe flooding. A rogue wave is called such because it appears suddenly, without any warning usually, alone, and does great damage with its large size.

A rogue wave is a dangerous, powerful force of nature that hits fast and disappears, leaving destruction in its wake. What causes a rogue wave is a question that must be answered before prevention and warning systems can be put into place for those who sail the oceans. In the future, scientists predict they will be able to not only locate rogue waves as they form, but also track them and alert those in their path. Just like with a tornado. The ocean is mostly unexplored by man. We just need more time.

Did you know?

Sea Captains have been reporting rogue waves since sailing's start, usually costing themselves their careers. Rogue waves were considered to be the UFO's of the sea and therefore, unbelievable. Thanks to technology, we now know for a fact that rogue waves exist, leading some to demand an investigation into the massive files of unsolved boater disappearances and coastguard cases, including many in the Bermuda Triangle.

Rogue waves are unstoppable and move along the ocean's surface like the ripple from a rock thrown into a pond. They are incredibly fast and cannot be outrun in even a speedboat. The ship must be steered directly into the wave and then ride it out. A ship hit broadside by a rogue wave will be rolled over and likely sink.

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