Scientists documented what is believed to be the largest wave of the southern hemisphere off the New Zealand coast on Tuesday. The shaft was 23.8 meters (78 feet), which is about the height of an eight-story building. It erased the previous record of 22.3 meters in 2012 in southern Tasmania.
The record was set during a powerful storm near Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean, about 700 kilometers south of New Zealand. The wave was generated by a deep gravure system and a wind speed of over 65 knots.
Senior oceanographer Tom Durrant said that the Southern Ocean is known to produce waves that move across the planet.
"The region is about 22 years old percent of the planet's oceans, and it's the most energetic part of the world's oceans in terms of waves," he added.
Waves like these affect not only the coasts in the southern hemisphere, but also those in the northern hemisphere. 1
In March of this year, New Zealand's Meteorological Service installed a buoy to measure wavelength. The solar powered buoy can only run for 20 minutes every three hours, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
"It is very likely that during the storm, larger waves over 25 meters occurred while the buoy was not recording," Durrant
World Meteorological Organization keeps only records of "significant wave height" or average of successive waves.
"During this storm, the significant wave height reached 14.9m, which is also a record for the Southern Ocean, but the 19m world record buoy survey recorded in the North Atlantic in 2013 is below expectations," he said.
In addition, he said the storm haunted the southern hemisphere unhampered by land shortage
According to the Smithsonian, the largest wave ever recorded was in 1958 at Lituya Bay, Alaska. It was 30.5 meters high and was caused by a tsunami that killed five people. The wave broke 1700 trees, but did not damage much property because there were very few towns nearby.
Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa, 22, caught a 24.38 meter giant at Nazare in Portugal in November. He was recently rewarded at the Big Wave Awards in California for riding the biggest ever ridden wave.