Rogue waves captured

Re-creating monster swells in a tank helps explain their origin

6:43pm, May 20, 2011

Freak waves that swallow ships whole have been re-created in a tank of water. Though these tiny terrors are only centimeters high, a devilishly difficult mathematical equation describing their shape may help to explain the origins of massive rogue waves at sea..

Sailors have long swapped stories about walls of water leaping up in the open ocean — even in calm water — without warning or obvious cause. But for centuries, rogue waves were little more than talk; no one had ever measured one with scientific instruments.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News