Whenever nature starts to do something that is unexpected, it is best for you to watch out. For example, the rumbling and shaking of the earth (an earthquake) may be a “normal” phenomenon, but it is not something that happens to people often like rain or gusty wind is. Earthquakes are dangerous just as hurricanes and tornados are dangerous and people should get to safety whenever these things are happening.
But there is one “natural” phenomenon that you might not know about. But it can be dangerous as well. They are called cross waves, which are basically square waves in the ocean. These may be exceptionally beautiful to look at, but they spell danger to anyone looking to go into them for some swimming or boating.
Although you probably have not seen cross waves in person (I haven’t – but then again I haven’t experienced an earthquake either), the images throughout this story will illustrate what they look like to you. Basically, they’re a wave pattern that ends up looking like squares across the ocean.
Cross waves form when two sets of wave systems collide. They are coming at each other from different angles and then produce waves with angels that are greater than 45 degrees.
Cross seas occur most commonly when two competing weather systems meet up at sea. Their differing wind directions cause the grid-like pattern to emerge along the waves. They also include invisible currents under the waves, and that’s where these things get dangerous. Because the underwater currents can be rather forceful, swimmers, surfers, and boats are in danger if they come into contact with cross waves.
Scientists hypothesize that square waves increase the chances of boat accidents and shipwrecks. Because these cross seas are considered stronger than riptides, they can be destructive and dangerous. That’s why the waters where these square waves occur are often very difficult to navigate for ships and other vessels.
So if you’re fascinated with these waves, stay on shore and observe them for a safe distance. They’re harmless to you so long as you are not stuck within them. But if you’re in the water when the cross waves start, then you had better watch out because the underwater currents can be forceful.
These squares waves can be observed off the Isle of Rhe in France. Although this local is known for shopping, bistros, and beaches, it can also be home to these cross waves which can be dangerous to unsuspecting tourists who don’t know any better.
These wave patterns do not last forever. Eventually, the energy of the competing weather patterns wear out, and the waves return to normal. But when you see square waves in the ocean or the sea, it is best to stay on shore or risk getting whisked away into the depths of the ocean.
France is not the only home to these square waves. They’ve been stopped in New Zealand as well.
Watch the video to get a good (safe) look at them.
What do you think about the waters that have these square waves?
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