The most extreme “rogue wave” on record has just been confirmed in the North Pacific Ocean.
In November 2020, a freak wave lifted a single buoy off the coast of British Columbia 17.6 meters high (58ft) and the four-storey wall of water has now been confirmed as the most extreme ever recorded.
Such an event is believed to only happen once every 1,300 years.
However, a recent study predicts wave heights in the North Pacific will only increase with climate change – meaning the 2020 wave may not hold the record for long.
For centuries, “rogue waves” were considered nothing more than nautical folklore, but in 1995, on the first day of January, a 26-meter high wave (85ft) struck an oil drilling platform off the coast of Norway.
At the time, the so-called Draupner wave defied all previous scientific models.
Since then, a dozen rogue waves have been recorded, some even in lakes. Their tendency to occur unexpectedly and with huge force makes them especially dangerous.