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Scientists & surfers in pursuit of rogue waves

Oct 7, 2010

For centuries sailors have told tales of tall waves, one hundred feet high or more, coming from nowhere and swallowing ships. Scientists tended to regard these stories with skepticism. But in the past few decades a startling number of ships seem to have been destroyed by huge rogue waves. In her new book The Wave, O magazine editor-in-chief Susan Casey explores the science behind this terrifying phenomenon and the extreme surfers who fly around the world trying to ride these massive monsters. Legendary surfer Laird Hamilton and a group of his friends pioneered riding swells of seventy and eighty feet. For this tidal tribe, conquering the one-hundred foot wave is the holy grail of their sport. Why are surfers and scientists so obsessed with these giants of the ocean?

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