The Pororoca
December 4, 2006 8:55 AM   Subscribe

The Pororoca is an Amazonian tidal bore that generates waves up to 12 feet high which can last for over half an hour. Surfers from all around the world have visited Brazil in order to ride this mega-wave. Here are some videos:
The Pororoca Phenomenon (4:28)
Pororoca 1 of 2 (3:11)
Pororoca 2 of 2 (3:21)
Pororoca (26 minutes long)
posted by jason's_planet (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Awesome. The 2nd and 3rd videos gave me goosebumps just watching them. That looks like so much fun.
posted by photoslob at 9:11 AM on December 4, 2006

That's really cool. Reminds me of the stationary wave river surfing you see in the Pacific Northwest.
posted by mathowie at 9:15 AM on December 4, 2006

Wow. That looked awesome.
posted by dazed_one at 9:37 AM on December 4, 2006

Amazon Shmamazon! Less exotic, but bigger and longer the English Severn Bore (near where I live in Gloucestershire) is, err, bigger and longer (but unfortunately the You Tube vids are rubbish).

Please be gentle on me, it's my first post!
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 10:05 AM on December 4, 2006

I once saw the tidal bore in Nova Scotia. Or as they call it there, the total bore.
posted by Nelson at 10:06 AM on December 4, 2006

Add to those risks the candiru (Vandellia cirrhosa), a small parasitic fish that can swim up a person's urethra, dig in its spines, and feast on its host's blood. The invader can only be removed by surgery.
posted by caddis at 10:57 AM on December 4, 2006

Great post. I was in the state of Amapa last summer and I had no idea of this phenomenon.
posted by pwedza at 11:27 AM on December 4, 2006

Bore tides are also found on the Turnagin Arm in Alaska, not too far from Anchorage. They too have been surfed.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:51 AM on December 4, 2006

Cool videos. I watched the first and the second.

I don't usually mention stuff like this, but after watching these videos this morning, and then seeing the post again as I was scrolling down the blue just now, I had the thought: oh, that perverse post about the surfers having fun while other people's livelihoods are destroyed. And it does seem a bit perverse, how the first video mentions the devastation and the second shows the happy surfers.
posted by OmieWise at 1:49 PM on December 4, 2006

Yeah, when I was living on the North Shore, the Brazilians would talk about doing this, almost as an aside, as something to do when there wasn't better breaks going off elsewhere.

River breaks always sort of reminded me of a natural version of these things.
posted by Relay at 3:55 PM on December 4, 2006

I wonder if the original kahunas in Hawaii who came up with surfing would like this, or they would rather have the traditional waves with their cosmic ebbing and flowing rhythms. The tidal bore just keeps playing the same note.

Well . . . who knows? It's a bit like wondering what Gutenberg would make of some of the books published nowadays. Arts have a way of going in directions that the originators couldn't have foretold or even liked. To each his own. I'm not crazy about tradition, myself.

And it does seem a bit perverse, how the first video mentions the devastation and the second shows the happy

Hmmmmm . . . sharp criticism there. I hadn't thought of that. I don't know much about how the villagers cope with the pororoca so I'll speculate. I assume that they are intelligent, resourceful and resilient just like people everywhere else in the world. The video you refer to calls the pororoca "unpredictable" by which I assume they meant that it had the potential to destroy their crops, their houses, etc. but probably didn't most of the time. I assume that they've been dealing with this wave for centuries, if not millenia, and have developed their own ways of dealing with it. If the wave were consistently destructive, they wouldn't still be living where they live.

Please be gentle on me, it's my first post!

Hey, dude. Welcome to MetaFilter!
posted by jason's_planet at 4:52 PM on December 4, 2006

Fascinating, thanks! That 4:28 link has a nice soundtrack, sounds like Jean-Luc Ponty. Anyone know what it is for sure? (Sounds like a variation of Mystical Adventures)
posted by Goofyy at 2:36 AM on December 5, 2006

Pororocas, bores, mascarets and aegirs are (often) solitons: solitary, non-dispersing waves, which have become extremely important in a bunch of fields from physiology to cosmology, with a huge helping in fiber optics.
posted by jamjam at 1:23 PM on December 5, 2006

Tidal Bores. Brazil. Surfing. The Pacific Northwest. Gloucestershire. The plight of indigenous peoples. Obscure topics in physics.

And the original kahunas. All in one short post.

Damn, I love this place. Thanks to everyone who commented, complimented, favorited and criticized! I appreciate all of it.

posted by jason's_planet at 9:17 PM on December 5, 2006

Surfing Munich style on the Eisenbach River. [1][2][3] (God, I love Munich.)
posted by caddis at 10:18 PM on December 5, 2006

« Older PIRG/Fund/GCI = WalMart/Enron/Exxon   |   Lisa: Look at me! Grade me! Evaluate and rank me!... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments