Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

78-Foot Wave Recorded In New Zealand, Largest Ever In Southern Hemisphere

78-Foot Wave Recorded In New Zealand, Largest Ever In Southern Hemisphere

A buoy off the coast of New Zealand recorded a 78-foot wave on Tuesday, leading scientists to conclude that it was the biggest wave ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.

While the wave that struck near New Zealand and broke Southern Hemisphere records was certainly a powerful one, the strongest wave that has ever been recorded was set in Alaska in 1958 and measured 100 feet in height.

"It's very probable that larger waves occurred while the buoy was not recording", he said.

Nobody actually saw the 78-foot-tall (23.8 meters) wave crash down, but a buoy moored by New Zealand's Campbell Island managed to log the awesome wonder on May 8, according to MetOcean Solutions, a subsidiary of the Meteorological Service of New Zealand. The buoy in question is powered by solar energy and only records for 20 minutes every 3 hours to save battery power.

The previous record for the highest wave in the Southern Hemisphere was in Tasmania measuring 22.03 metres (72.2 foot). MetOcean's senior oceanographer said in a statement. The Southern Ocean, as you well know, is the home field for more than a few giant storms.

And the importance of the wave goes well beyond record-breaking feats.

So just how big was this wave?

"However, it is likely that the peak heights during this storm were actually much higher, with individual waves greater than 25 m being possible as the wave forecast for the storm show larger wave conditions just north of the buoy location".

While it may be a record for the Southern Ocean, it's not a world record. He was recently acknowledged at Big Wave Awards in California for having ridden the biggest wave ever surfed.

"The ocean around Antarctica is unique and the least studied, despite occupying 22% of the global ocean surface", the report on the 24-meter wave reads. One of the consequences of a warming world is thought to be more intense storms - and that means larger waves.

The Southern Ocean storm's significant wave height came in at around 50 feet, while the 2013 North Atlantic storm was a staggering 62 feet.

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