A team of oceanographers researching the movement of the oceans has revealed that it has recorded the largest wave ever seen in the Southern Hemisphere. The wave reached a height of 78 feet (23.7 meters) and was created by intense storms raging in the Southern Ocean.
This massive wave was detected by a high-tech buoy operated by MetOcean, a company that specializes in oceanographic and meteorological solutions for collecting environmental data. The buoy floats in the Southern Ocean off the coast of Campbell Island, which is located about 430 miles (692 km) south of New Zealand. The device detected the wave on May 9, relaying the data to MetOcean research stations remotely.
The buoy is powered by solar power and turns itself on for 20 minutes every three hours to sample the movement of the waves. As such, it may have missed some of the largest waves traveling through the area at the time. Weather forecasts predicted that largest could crest out at over 82 feet (25 meters) The previous record for the largest wave in this part of the world was 63.6 feet (19.4 meters) in the same stretch of the Southern Hemisphere last year.
Scientists say that these types of waves are not all that unusual in the Southern Ocean, which is known for its incredibly strong wind and massive storms. Where as in the Northern Hemisphere the conditions necessary to create the waves usually only occur in the winter, down south they can pop up at any time of the year.
This comes just a short time after we received video of a surfer taking on the largest wave ever as well. In that clip, Rodrigo Koxa surfed an 80-foot (24.3 meter) wave off the coast of Portugal. That alone sounds terrifying enough, but traveling to the Southern Ocean to find these massive swells sounds even crazier.