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Posté le 26/10/2019 15:48  
Monster Rogue Waves
For centuries sailors have been telling stories of encountering monstrous ocean waves which tower over one hundred feet in the air and toss ships about like corks. Historically oceanographers have discounted these reports as tall tales— the embellished stories of mariners with too much time at sea. But in the last eleven years scientists have discovered strong evidence indicating that such massive rogue waves do exist. The phenomenon has become the subject of recent scientific study, but their origin remains a mystery of the deep.

About one ship is lost every week in the world’s oceans, mostly due to poor seamanship or severe weather. But it now seems likely that at least a small percentage of sea disappearances are due to encounters with these destructive waves. Over the years experienced captains have made very credible reports of meeting behemoth waves which appear spontaneously, cause extensive damage to their ships, and shrug back into the sea just as mysteriously as they had appeared. One account describes the appearance of a giant wave trough which onlookers likened to a “hole in the sea”, followed by a twelve-story-tall “wall of water.” To further compound the mystery, some such waves have been said to appear mid-ocean, and often in calm weather.

On the open sea, waves can commonly reach seven meters in height; or even up to fifteen in extreme weather. In contrast, some reported rogue waves have exceeded thirty meters in height. Curiously, rogue waves are often seen traveling against the prevailing current and wave directions; and unlike a tsunami, rogue waves are localized and very short-lived. Most modern merchant vessels are designed to withstand about fifteen tons of pressure per square meter, but these unusual waves exert a pressure of about one hundred tons per square meter. Needless to say, a rogue wave means big trouble for any ship it meets.

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