The New Zealand Oceanographic Research Institute, MetOcean Solutions, recorded the largest wave ever observed throughout the southern hemisphere, 23.8 meters high. The flagrante was made on May 8 in an area already known by storms in the Southern Ocean near Campbell Island, 700 km south of New Zealand. "Our own previous record was a year ago, when we measured a wave of 19.4 m, and before that, in 2012, an Australian buoy recorded a maximum individual wave (Hmax) of 22.03 m," said oceanographer Tom Durrant. "So this is a very important storm to capture, and this will add much to our understanding of the physics of the waves under extreme conditions in the Antarctic ocean. "According to the researcher, that doesn't mean that this is the biggest wave that ever lived there. The information was picked up by a solar-powered ball. It measures the height, period, and direction of each wave, and it sticks the information by satellite. Its operation, however, boils down to periods of 20 minutes every 3 hours. "It is likely that the heights during this storm have been much larger, with more than 25 meters, as the forecast for the storm shows conditions of larger waves north of the location of the buoy," says Durrant.
The oceanographer explains that despite occupying 22% of the oceans, the Austral is one of the least studied, despite its great importance. The wind and the energy of the currents creates a condition for the emergence of great waves, which propagate across the planet. "California surfers can expect the energy to reach their beaches in weeks," he reveals. The biggest wave ever recorded in history was in Lituya Bay, Alaska. With 30.5 meters, it happened as a result of an earthquake in the year 1958. In Brazil, the place where the biggest waves happen is on the slab of Jagua, an important underwater rock formation situated on the coastline of the municipality of Jaguaruna, in Santa Catarina, 5.3 km from the coast. Waves are recorded between 10:15 meters.