SOME of the scariest waves in the world can be as high as London’s BT Tower – but you won’t be able to see them.
Kim Martini, a physical oceanographer working at the University of Alaska, explained that these are called internal waves.Internal waves can be as high as 500ft, but are only spotted by images from Space (pictured here in the Indian Ocean)[/caption] Here the waves were spotted by NASA off the coast of Borneo[/caption]
This is because they are actually under the surface, rather than on top, and are caused by different water densities meeting.
She explained on Deep Sea News: “These are the biggest waves in the ocean and they can’t be seen from shore. They exist inside the ocean.”
She also explained how dangerous they can be too.
She continued: “As they travel, they can move water below the surface up and down over 200 meters.
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“Internal waves and the large vertical displacements they cause have even been accused of sinking nuclear subs.”
It has been suspected that internal waves could have resulted in the sinking of the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala 402 last year, killing all 53 onboard.
Rear Admiral Muhammad Ali, a former commander of the submarine, told ABC that a huge internal wave was reported around the same time of it sinking.
He added that it would have been “a strong current which can drag the sub vertically so it would sink faster than it should”.
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Even though we can’t see them on land, they can be seen from space, as the small crests online show up by the reflection of the sun on them.
They can also travel very far, with some internal waves in Hawaii found as far as Alaska.
The largest internal waves are found in the Luzon Strait in the South China Sea, between Taiwan and the Philippines.
Some have been recorded as high as 550ft – around the same height as the BT Tower in London.
And internal waves aren’t the only scary things in the sea – if you see “square waves” you should get out as quickly as possible.
Also known as cross seas, they may look pretty but are actually extremely dangerous – and have even caused shipwrecks.
Square waves are formed by waves moving in opposite directions, which happens when two separate weather systems collide.
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According to the European Space Agency, they have even caused a number of shipwrecks over the years due to the battling waves.
And waves around the world are getting stronger thanks to climate change, a report has warned.Internal waves can’t be seen above the water, but can cause problems for underwater submarines[/caption]