The highest and most powerful waves in the world are not that big when they start offshore. Offshore winds generate waves of about 3 meters, and during storms it is not uncommon to get waves of more than 9 meters when in the ocean.
If these numbers are already very impressive, they are still far from the actual size of the largest waves ever recorded. But the question is: what makes waves reach the size of a building? And how are these huge walls of water, so big that surfers actively look for them and people living on the coasts fear them, actually made?
The answer is very simple: the earth can transform a more or less ordinary wave into a real monster. Indeed, a wave approaching the shore gets into shallower and shallower water, which forces it to rise. Most of the energy that was pushing the wave forward is then forced to go upwards.
Unlike a normal wave, a tsunami does not break, as the wall of water never gets steep enough. The energy running throughout the water column comes from a shockwave that stretches over a hundred kilometers, giving these particular waves a frightening stability.
We will see here the highest waves in the world, from ordinary waves to tsunamis. Some of these waves get surfers to take advantage of them, while it is truly impossible for others!