Rogue Wave Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Rogue waves can appear seemingly out of nowhere, causing mayhem and death. How much do you know about these baffling and terrifying ocean events?

What is a rogue wave?

Rogue waves are unpredictable and seem to appear out of nowhere, presenting severe danger to life and property.


Witnesses often say that rogue waves look like what?

The are definitely noticeable and may send observers into a panic.


In what year were the existence of rogue waves confirmed by scientific tools?

Long the stuff of legend, a rogue wave was finally captured by a laser tool on an oil platform near Norway in 1995.


What was the height of the rogue wave in our previous question?

At more than eight stories high, the rogue wave did cause minor damage to the oil platform where it was measured.


The oil platform that recorded the first measured rogue wave was built to withstand waves of what height?

Considering it was only made to survive a 64-foot wave, the platform could have been smashed to bits.


True or false: "Rogue wave" is another term for "tsunami."

Tsunamis are caused by a huge, sudden displacement of water (such as by an earthquake); rogue waves are open water phenomena caused by factors like weather and wave interaction.


Where was the Caledonian Star when it was struck by a wave that some people estimated at nearly 100 feet tall?

It was off the southern tip of South America, and the whole front end of the ship tipped into the wave. The crew had to swim back to their controls.


Some scientists estimate that at in any given moment, there may be how many rogue waves on Earth?

Because the oceans are so vast and rogue waves are often short-lived, they often vanish before anyone can see them.


True or False: Rogue waves occur only in water.

The physics behind rogue waves mean they can occur in other media, too.


How does constructive interference affect waves?

Large ocean swells that merge at just the right (or rather, wrong) time can make monster waves thanks to constructive interference.


Scientist believe that most rogue waves are about what height?

50 foot waves are borderline terrifying even for people on large ships; 100-foot waves might send many people into cardiac arrest.


In 2005, a cruise ship called the Norwegian Dawn survived a series of how many rogue waves?

More than 60 cabins were flooded and metal railings were destroyed as high as the 10th deck; no one was killed.


True or False: Rogue waves occur most often in open ocean instead of near land.

The physics behind rogue waves mean they happen in deep open ocean, often far from human eyes.


About how long do the majority of rogue waves last?

They may only last for a few moments before subsiding back into the surrounding waves.


True or False: Rogue waves are not really much steeper than regular waves, they are just bigger.

Rogue waves might appear to be three times steeper, creating what looks like a surreal, horrifying wall of water that could smash about anything in its way.


In what year did an Italian ship named the Michelangelo encounter a rogue wave that caused part of the superstructure to fail?

Dozens of people were hurt and one crew member died when the wave struck in 1966.


How many rogue waves made up a freakish wave that was measured in November 2007 following subtropical storm Andrea?

Like the very first recorded rogue wave, this monstrous double rogue wave was recorded by a laser mounted to an oil platform.


What is the theoretical maximum height of a rogue wave?

No one has ever seen a 200-foot wave, and if they do, they'll be lucky to tell anyone about it.


Off the coast of Ireland, what was the supposed height of the rogue wave that struck the Fastnet Rock lighthouse in 1985?

In 1985, a wave estimated at nearly 160 feet tall smashed the glass out of the top of the lighthouse.


To be called a rogue, a wave must generally be how much higher than surrounding waves?

Compared to the surrounding seas, rogue waves may be twice as tall … or even taller.


What happened to the USS Grouper, a submarine that encountered a 100-foot rogue wave?

The crew closed the hatch by chance just moments before the wave struck, sending the sub plummeting through the depths.


In 1978, a barge from which country was most likely sunk due to a rogue wave?

A German barge, the MS Munchen, went down with 28 crew members; rescuers found only twisted metal attributed to freakish forces.


What happened to one of the crew members of the Mignonette, a yacht that was struck by a rogue wave in 1884?

They ate him, but to be fair, he was in a coma and they'd been drifting without food for many days; a trial ensued.


In 1853, of the 500 people aboard the Annie Jane, how many people survived a monstrous rogue wave?

Perhaps only 100 people lived to tell the tale of the freak wave that struck the ill-fated ship.


True or False: Strong ocean currents play a role in the development of rogue waves.

Where powerful currents are concentrated, rogue waves are more common, especially when those currents meet high winds blowing the opposite direction.


In 1909, how many people were aboard the SS Waratah when it disappeared without a trace, possibly due to a rogue wave?

More than a century later, there's still no sign of this ship, which had more than 200 people aboard.


What was the estimated height of the rogue wave encountered by the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1995?

The 90-foot wave was likely generated by Hurricane Luis, which the ship had steered to avoid.


True or False: Rogue waves do not occur in lakes.

Large lakes, like the Great Lakes in North America, are prime areas for the development of freak waves.


What was the height of the tallest waves ever scientifically recorded in the open ocean?

The RRS Discovery recorded the waves in February 2000; some were more than nine stories high.


True or False: Scientists now have a way to warn sailors of oncoming rogue waves.

No one can provide any useful warnings for ships at this point; scientists hope that eventually they'll be able to provide at least a few minutes for crews to steel themselves for freak waves.


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