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March 28, 2013 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Rogue Waves (previously, previously, wikipedia)
posted by unSane (54 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
"The 200–250-metre wall of water that overtopped the dam and destroyed the village would have obscured virtually all of the sky in this photo."
posted by Rhaomi at 12:48 PM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow.

Imagine what that would have been like for God fearing sailors in wooden sailboats and no way to naturally explain what just happened.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:48 PM on March 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nuts.
posted by Pendragon at 12:57 PM on March 28, 2013


Imagine what that would have been like for God fearing sailors in wooden sailboats and no way to naturally explain what just happened.

"The sea was angry that day, my friends."
posted by The Tensor at 12:57 PM on March 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


Imagine what that would have been like for God fearing sailors in wooden sailboats and no way to naturally explain what just happened.

In my imagination it goes like this: fear of God, pray, swim, cry, drown.

That video is pretty neat.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:57 PM on March 28, 2013


"Neat" isn't the word I'd use in that context. "Awe-inspiring" or "terrifying", maybe...
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:01 PM on March 28, 2013


This is what happens when you don't sacrifice any horses to Poseidon for hundreds and hundreds of years.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:06 PM on March 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


"A man dies on shore — you follow his body to the grave, and a stone marks the spot. You are often prepared for the event. There is always something which helps you to realize it when it happens, and to recall it when it has passed. A man is shot down by your side in battle, and the mangled body remains an object, and a real evidence; but at sea, the man is near you — at your side — you hear his voice, and in an instant he is gone, and nothing but a vacancy shows his loss."
-- Richard Henry Dana, Two Years Before the Mast
posted by Longtime Listener at 1:10 PM on March 28, 2013 [30 favorites]


Pretty hard to watch the parts of that video where ships were completely swamped, as it's almost 100% certain that people drowned or were crushed. Terrifying stuff.
posted by Cycloptichorn at 1:14 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


In case anyone else is wondering, apparently the plane thet flew in to the wave made it through.
posted by TedW at 1:14 PM on March 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


I've spent enough time on boats and offshore to maintain a healthy respect (read: respectfully fearful) of the power of the ocean. That music never fails to move me.
posted by arcticseal at 1:15 PM on March 28, 2013


Only some of those are rogue waves in the dictionary sense. All are awesome though, in the original sense of the word.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:16 PM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Then there's the Lituya Bay megatsunami.

The 1958 Lituya Bay megatsunami occurred on July 9, 1958, when an earthquake triggered a landslide that caused 30 million cubic metres of rock and ice to fall into the narrow inlet of Lituya Bay, Alaska. The sudden displacement of water resulted in a wave hundreds of metres high, that washed over trees and was ultimately measured as washing 524 metres (1,720 feet) up the opposite slope of the inlet, 143 metres (470 feet) taller than the roof of the Empire State Building. (Wikipedia)
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:19 PM on March 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I do a bit of fishing in a small boat and occasionally the weather service will call for 1ft to 3ft waves and that is enough for me to stay on land. I could barely even watch that video...
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 1:58 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


That music never fails to move me.

What music is that? Does it have a nautical name. For me, the music and imagery reminded me of the kind of stuff they used to show at the Disneyland Circlevision 360 Theater.

Also, I hope the pilot who through the wave got a tattoo with a wave on it.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:59 PM on March 28, 2013


Eternal Father, Strong to Save aka For Those in Peril on the Sea.
posted by unSane at 2:00 PM on March 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


aka the Navy Hymn/Naval Hymn.

Fantastic piece of music.

And I'm going to say that the word to use for those waves is 'sublime,' in the Kantian sense of, roughly: big and terrifying.


(And: glad somebody else was interested in that plane, too...)
posted by Fists O'Fury at 2:10 PM on March 28, 2013


I used to be on a lifeboat crew and thus had cause to hear "Eternal Father Strong to Save" sung at some funerals. Certainly in the UK it is the go-to hymn for those who have died at sea - or just had a lot to do with it. So I found it a disconcerting choice of music to listen to as a background to watching several people getting (presumably) killed.

It is actually pretty hard to find any videos of these events what have the original sound on them. Something a little like being placed in a washing machine that has just fallen off a cliff I imagine
posted by rongorongo at 2:13 PM on March 28, 2013


The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean - this was a good and pretty terrifying book. It wasn't until fairly recently that there was evidence of 100-foot-plus rogue waves.
posted by rtha at 2:15 PM on March 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Awesome, terrific, incredible. It is always good to have a reminder of the power of the Sea.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:22 PM on March 28, 2013


Damn, ocean. You scary.

I have a recurring nightmare in which I am standing on the deck of a ship and I look UP and see a white-topped wall of cold green water blocking out the sky.

So thanks for the nightmare fuel!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:35 PM on March 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rogue Wave Lake Michigan
posted by mrgrimm at 2:42 PM on March 28, 2013


"This is what happens when you don't sacrifice any horses to Poseidon for hundreds and hundreds of years."

Apparently dolphins have been trying to talk to us about this oversight.
posted by msjen at 2:54 PM on March 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure most of those are actually "rogue waves". Waves in the North Atlantic, for example, can be really goddamn big.
posted by Justinian at 3:21 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have spent enough time on the ocean to find those ... hit a little close to home. The sailboat getting swamped, or the fishing vessel, or the tanker as it goes over over over over:

I haven't found anything on land that will kick my ass like being far from shore and having to look up to see the tops of the waves. Waves like these I have never, thank mercy, ever seen. The first sip when making a toast goes to the gods of your choice, but it goes.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:54 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Oregon coast frequently has what the locals call "sneaker" waves that grab people off the beach. Or so we believe--the usual manifestation is someone says they're going to the beach for a walk and they never return. In the summer this seems to happen about once a week, as I surmise from following the local news. And overturned boats are pretty common. A friend who's in the Coast Guard (and is from back east) says the Oregon coast is notoriously bad and is worse than Washington or California.

The rule for Oregon beachgoers is: don't turn your back on the ocean.
posted by neuron at 3:54 PM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I recently read Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea. Callahan's boat which he was solo-sailing was capsized in high swells. He survived to tell the tale but not until 76 days at sea. Seventy. Six. Days. After reading that, I have almost zero interest in sailing.

People seem to die every year walking along the coastline here in Oregon (and up and down the Pacific coast) from "sneaker waves." It's kind of crazy.

neuron beat me! sneaker!
posted by amanda at 4:00 PM on March 28, 2013


We don't know it because it's overused, but this is what awesome actually refers to. There should always be a little "We're all going to die" in it.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:15 PM on March 28, 2013


Well, that cured any urge I had to run away and become a sailor.
posted by ghharr at 4:17 PM on March 28, 2013


Those were some pretty big waves. But not rogue waves.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:29 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Riverboats, folks. I never saw any of that nonsense on my riverboat.
posted by The White Hat at 4:33 PM on March 28, 2013


Another Rogue Waves.
posted by JDHarper at 4:35 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


}}}}}}}

Roguelike waves
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:41 PM on March 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


> I have a recurring nightmare in which I am standing on the deck of a ship and I look UP and see a white-topped wall of cold green water blocking out the sky.

One of the many books about arctic exploration books I've read included a story about a sailor who encountered a rogue wave at night; he spotted it when he realized the stars were blacked out far above what should have been the horizon.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:45 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nthing that hearing Eternal Father, Strong to Save over awe-inspiring pictures of waves toppling boats was a bit eerie. Here's hoping all those people were rescued since there was someone close enough by to film them.
posted by immlass at 5:41 PM on March 28, 2013


What others said, breaking waves on the beam are really dangerous, but the rogue wave is another beast, there are no videos coming back from a real rogue wave.

There is a slight variant, most waves are reasonably consistent in direction, the sailboat and fishing boat would probably have been ok if they were pointed at a steeper angle into the wave. I've read that offshore in big storms as bad as it can be, it's a wave coming from the wrong direction that is most dangerous.

But it's vastly more likely to get hit by lightning let alone a car than ever running into these scary waves let alone an actual 100 footer.
posted by sammyo at 5:57 PM on March 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I simultaneously want to see more and am anticipating a sleep filled with nightmares.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:05 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean - this was a good and pretty terrifying book."

So good and terrifying that I was basically afraid of my bathtub afterwards.

That's the book where I first read about:
"Two large ships sink every week on average, but the cause is never studied to the same detail as an air crash," says Wolfgang Rosenthal of the GKSS Forschungszentrum GmbH research center in Germany. "It simply gets put down to bad weather."

A significant handful of these sunken ships -- about 200 over the past two decades -- are supertankers or large container ships, according to a statement explaining Rosenthal's new research.

The cause for most of the mishaps is a mystery, but so-called rogue waves as tall as 10-story buildings are believed to be the major culprit in many cases. Yet until recent years, scientists doubted such strangely huge waves occurred so frequently.
There's this whole section in the book about how gigantic ships just DISAPPEAR and people are like, "Oh well, ships do that, and having been doing that since there were ships." I feel like with technology and science and GPS and stuff we should KNOW WHERE GIANT SHIPS GO WHEN THEY JUST DISAPPEAR, but apparently not.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:12 PM on March 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Methane bubbles?
posted by sammyo at 6:25 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like with technology and science and GPS and stuff we should KNOW WHERE GIANT SHIPS GO WHEN THEY JUST DISAPPEAR, but apparently not.

In the case of the München, there was a general distress call and many converged on the site to find her, but once a boat slips below the surface, it's pretty much game over. Unless you're talking Spanish Treasure Ship or the Titanic, there's no real reason to look any further.
posted by BWA at 6:38 PM on March 28, 2013


Metafilter: we should KNOW WHERE GIANT SHIPS GO WHEN THEY JUST DISAPPEAR
posted by localroger at 6:40 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Utterly terrifying.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:03 PM on March 28, 2013


Seems like it should be possible to launch a satellite with a magnetometer sensitive enough to detect steel-hull shipwrecks. Probably need to find some less romantic reason for launching it though.
posted by localroger at 8:47 PM on March 28, 2013


Those aren't rogue waves, they're just biggish waves. A rogue wave would have taken out the bridge on most of those boats! If it's any comfort I doubt anyone died on the boats that rolled since there were so many other vessels standing by. Hope not.

The wave that hit the sailboat looked like a rolling breaker. Don't see those in the open ocean. Being sideways in the breakers with your mainsail up that close to other vessels is an.... unusual choice. I wonder what the story was there? Trying to run a bar under sail maybe.
posted by fshgrl at 9:26 PM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, that last one. It's almost beautiful, but also absolutely terrible and awesome, in the original sense of the word. It's enough to make me want to start making sacrifices to Poseidon. Also I should really stop watching this considering how many tidal wave/tsunami nightmares I've had.
posted by yasaman at 9:36 PM on March 28, 2013


80 foot, 95 foot, 100 foot wave. Who the hell is out there measuring these waves???
posted by orme at 9:38 PM on March 28, 2013


Satellites are measuring them. Google 'maxwave project'.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:29 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's a relief, thanks.
posted by orme at 4:30 AM on March 29, 2013


> 80 foot, 95 foot, 100 foot wave.

Daylight come and me wan' go home.
posted by jfuller at 5:57 AM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


80 foot, 95 foot, 100 foot wave. Who the hell is out there measuring these waves???

The Draupner wave or New Year's wave was the first rogue wave to be detected by a measuring instrument, occurring at the Draupner platform in the North Sea off the coast of Norway on 1 January 1995. Prior to this measurement, such freak waves were known to exist only through anecdotal evidence provided by those who had encountered them at sea.

Minor damage was inflicted on the platform during this event, confirming the validity of the reading made by a downwards-pointing laser sensor. In an area with significant wave height of approximately 12 metres (39 ft), a freak wave with a maximum wave height of 25.6 metres (84 ft) occurred (peak elevation was 18.5 metres (61 ft)).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draupner_wave

posted by sebastienbailard at 1:40 PM on March 29, 2013


Speaking of Poseidon: Interview with George O’Connor, Author/Illustrator of Poseidon: Earth Shaker
posted by homunculus at 2:05 PM on March 29, 2013


A view from inside.
posted by unSane at 5:52 PM on March 29, 2013


Rogue waves and methane bubbles--I doubt if I'll ever get into the bathtub again let alone on a ship!

My husband took me on a romantic beach walk along the Oregon coast in a storm. Little did I know then he was trying to kill me--sneaker waves! Christ in a lifeboat, what next?
posted by BlueHorse at 1:07 AM on March 30, 2013


Methane bubbles are surprisingly common in bathtubs.
posted by unSane at 4:08 AM on March 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


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