Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Real ocean monsters--giant rogue waves

Real monsters prowl the world’s oceans, rogue waves that can damage or sink even the largest ships, like this 80+ foot wave (right) breaking over an oil tanker. There may be as many as 10 of these monsters at a time looming somewhere on earth, up to 198 feet high. Until recently, scientists thought ocean waves could not get this large and scary.

What are rogue waves? They are monster waves produced when more typical "big" waves stack up on top of each other. They may be more common where strong winds blow opposite strong currents, and the resulting maelstrom creates irregular big waves with the potential to escalate to freakish heights.

Thought to be mythical until just the last few years, science now shows rogue waves to be real. What other monsters lurk hidden in our oceans?

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