81-Foot Waves Spotted From Space?

According to a report on news.bbc.co.uk a satellite spotted monster waves—up to 80 feet tall. The report goes on to say that over 200 supertankers have been lost at sea over the last two decades. That's where I'm calling bullshit. Recently there was one supertanker that was lost for a couple days off France until being spotted off Cape Verde and that was international news. How come we don’t hear about all these supertankers vanishing? What do you think? Are there 100 foot waves breaking out in the middle of the ocean?—JC

As reported on news.bbc.co.uk: Freak Waves Spotted From Space

ESA tasked two of its Earth-scanning satellites to monitor the oceans with their radar. The shady phenomenon of freak waves as tall as 10 storey buildings has finally been proved, the European Space Agency (Esa) said on Wednesday.

Sailors often whisper of monster waves when ships sink mysteriously but, until now, no one quite believed them. As part of a project called MaxWave – which was set up to test the rumors – two Esa satellites surveyed the oceans.

During a three week period they detected 10 giant waves, all of which were over 25m (81ft) high.

Over the last two decades more than 200 super-carriers – cargo ships over 200m long – have been lost at sea. Eyewitness reports suggest many were sunk by high and violent walls of water that rose up out of calm seas.

But for years these tales of towering beasts were written off as fantasy; and many marine scientists clung to statistical models stating monstrous deviations from the normal sea state occur once every 1,000 years.

“Two large ships sink every week on average,” said Wolfgang Rosenthal, of the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany. “But the cause is never studied to the same detail as an air crash. It simply gets put down to ‘bad weather’.”

Ironically, while the MaxWave research was going on, two tourist liners endured terrifying ordeals. The Breman and the Caledonian Star cruisers had their bridge windows smashed by 30m waves in the South Atlantic. The Bremen was left drifting for two hours after the encounter, with no navigation or propulsion.