What are square waves and why are they so dangerous

What are square waves and why are they so dangerous

What do waves usually look like? On lines, circles, zigzags, sometimes on lambs. However, nature never ceases to amaze – it turns out that in some parts of the world you can observe waves of an ideal square shape! Curious “Subtleties” decided to find out why this natural phenomenon occurs and why sailors are so afraid of it.

How do square waves appear?

If the wind drives the waves in one direction, and a strong sea current in the other, even square waves appear on the sea, resembling a chessboard. This phenomenon is called cross-waves. There are other reasons why unusual “squares” can suddenly form on the sea. Sometimes they occur at the point where two storms collide, and sometimes they are caused by a sudden change in the wind.

Beautiful, but dangerous

The sea, covered with cross waves, from the side seems calm and serene. But this calmness is deceptive: “squares” appear on the site of powerful undercurrents, and the height of the waves can reach three meters.

The flow of water is capable of overturning not only boats, but also small vessels. Usually, when getting into a storm, sailors try to put the ship with its bow to the wave, but in the case of cross waves, this technique does not work, since the water hits from two sides at once. As a result, the ship sways violently and may even roll over. Swimming in the sea with cross waves is strictly prohibited. Chaotic currents rage inside them, which even an experienced swimmer cannot cope with. Therefore, you should not give in to the temptation to swim in the “chessboard” sea – it is better to watch this amazing phenomenon from the shore.

5 places to see square waves

You can see cross waves in the Mediterranean Sea near Tel Aviv, sometimes in the Azores. But most often – La Rochelle, on the island of Re. Thousands of tourists come here every year to take unique photographs.

We have this phenomenon occasionally happens in the Crimea. And even more unusual are the square waves that occur on Lake Baikal, in the area of ​​​​the village of Buguldeyka. This is the only place in the world where you can see “squares” of fresh water, not salt water. Almost like in the Maldives: 7 Russian beaches, not much inferior to paradise islands.

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