Giant seven-story waves off the coast of Portugal spotted on satellite image

(ORDO NEWS) — NASA has published some stunning images of the coastline of Praia do Norte, a beach in Nazare, Portugal, on the Earth Observatory website.

This place is famous for its surfing conditions, there are giant waves, the height of which was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

The first image was taken in 2020, at which time 30-meter “monstrous waves” were recorded, according to the source.

For comparison: the height of a standard seven-nine-story building reaches about 30 meters. The second image was taken already in 2022, at a surprisingly calm (for this place) time.

Giant seven story waves off the coast of Portugal spotted on satellite image 2 Giant seven story waves off the coast of Portugal spotted on satellite image 3

According to the Portuguese Hydrographic Institute, the reason why the waves off the coast of Nazare are so huge is because of the nearby canyon. Its length reaches 230 km, and its depth is 5 km.

When a wave passes through this area, the deeper part of the wave inside the canyon maintains the same speed as in the open ocean, while the upper part of the wave above the canyon slows down.

This causes some waves to change direction to the southwest. However, other waves that do not pass through the canyon remain in a northwesterly direction. Waves that move in different directions sometimes combine, merging into one huge wave.

Usually, huge waves form only during the winter months, as the ocean currents change during the summer.

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