Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Satellites confirm the existence of monster waves

Giant waves occur more frequently than it was previously believed

MaxWave project of the European Union has brought unbelievable results. The project has made it possible to find and photograph a large quantity of so-called monster waves.

It does not go about tsunamis, which appear in shallow waters as a result of earthquakes. A monster wave is a mysterious phenomenon: a single wave rises as high as a ten-story building in the open sea, among other small waves. It is generally believed, such giant waves have sunk a lot of vessels.

The cruise liner Queen Elizabeth II came across a wall of water 29 meters high in 1995. Such incidents happen a dozen times a year. Scientists have the only explanation of the phenomenon for the time being: several smaller waves collide into one big rogue wave. However, waves of such origin can occur only once in ten thousand years. That is why many scientists were rather sceptic about such an explanation.

The MaxWave project stipulated the monitoring of the ocean surface with the help of radar satellites of the European Space Agency. The scientific research has been successful: in three weeks satellites have found ten monster waves up to 25 meters high. One of them was rising almost 30 meters high against the background of other ten-meter waves.

It has been proved for the first time that giant waves occur more frequently than it was previously believed. Now scientists are trying to understand the reason of their occurrence in the oceans of the globe.