Friday, April 20, 2012

Rogue waves: high as a 10-story building, they can capsize huge ships on the sunniest of days

Rogue waves, until recently dismissed by scientists as sailors' fantasies, may be more common than previously thought and might go a long way toward explaining why so many big ships — up to two a week — sink, even in fair weather. From Time:
...there was little evidence to back it up [the phenomenon of rogue waves]. But in 1995, an oil rig in the North Sea recorded an 84-ft.-high (25.6 m) wave that appeared out of nowhere, and in 2000, a British oceanographic vessel recorded a 95-ft.-high (29 m) wave off the coast of Scotland.

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