Scientists Record Biggest Wave Ever in Southern Hemisphere at 78 Feet

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.

According to BBC, “The Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService) installed its solar-powered buoy in March. The area is known for big storm activity, but waves had been previously difficult to measure.”

The buoy operates for 20 minutes every three hours, so it is possible that even bigger waves occurred during the deep low pressure system off Campbell Island.

The readings from Tuesday. Photo: Courtesy of MetService

“This is a very exciting event and to our knowledge it is the largest wave ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere,” MetService senior oceanographer Dr. Tom Durrant told BBC.

The new wave recording breaks the previously recorded height of 72-feet that was recorded south of the Australian state of Tasmania in 2012. And much larger waves have been recorded in the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s still pretty crazy to think that a 78-foot wave rolled through the ocean recently.

The swell map showing the wave (the red dot is the buoy that picked up the reading). Photo: Courtesy of MetService

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