A rogue wave is usually defined as a wave that is two times the significant wave height of the area. The significant wave height is the average of the highest one-third of waves that occur over a given period. Rogue waves can disable and sink even the largest ships and oil rigs. This NOAA research vessel, the DISCOVERER, endures punishing waves in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.

Photograph courtesy Commander Richard Behn, NOAA Corps

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Rogue Waves
Rogue Waves Article

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Rogue waves develop from swells interacting with currents and eddies—and can devastate ships at sea.