As you can tell, this week I've been mostly focused on science and "strange stuff", and today is no exception. Ms. K.M. sent along this article, and I found it fascinating, not only for its content and its implications (which we'll get to in a moment), but for the fact that Russia's online magazine Sputnik picked up the story, and Lew Rockwell's website picked it from there.
The story begins with the two to three freighters that allegedly go missing every two weeks or so, and which seldom, if ever, make the news. Here's the article:
The explanation for these missing ships? "Rogue waves":
“There are no ships currently built to withstand these waves, because we have only just started to realize rogue waves exist. They are built to withstand a different type of sea. It’s the biggest secret of the shipping industry, two freighters goes missing every week — which is not to say rogue waves are responsible. It could have been many other things. But ships go missing and we don’t always hear about them in the mainstream press,” Ms. Keeling told Sputnik.
Because they exist in the deepest oceans and rarely trouble the majority of the world’s population — they largely go unreported, says Jo Keeling, who has researched them for a new book, The Mysterium.
What Is a Rogue Wave?
They are a wave more than double the significant wave height.
“So say you are going into a really rough sea with 12 meter high waves, the chances are most waves will be about that height. But these are singular, one-off waves which are more than double that and often three times that size,” Ms. Keeling explained.
(All emphases in the original.)
Later the article gives a rough estimate of the energy that such massive waves contain:
But Ms. Keeling said the real problem was no ship had been designed capable of withstanding the impact of a rogue wave.
“They could have the force of 100 tons per square meter, whereas the strongest ships we have built can withstand 15 tons without damage or 30 tons with damage, whereas 100 tons could rip it into and they have done. There are pictures out there of ships with big bites taking out of them and then of course there are ships which have gone under. So it’s a very real and a very dangerous phenomenon,” Ms. Keeling told Sputnik.
So why was I fascinated with this story? Well, beyond its Poseidon Adventure resonances, very simply what caused my fascination is the very idea of "rogue waves" themselves, which apparently are phenomena related to deep oceans. And it is precisely here that things become "dicey," for the normal explanation for such large waves seems to fail here. Under normal circumstances, what causes these such waves are usually thought to be underwater earthquakes or some such similarly large energetic event. Or, under other explanations, as waves approach shorelines and the ocean floor nears the surface, waves begin to grow in height. Such waves in the middle of the ocean thus cannot rely on this explanation, and one is left with the earthquake explanation for the rest, which seems implausible because, again, such huge waves, while caused by earthquakes, would only manifest their "hugeness" as they approached shorelines. That, at least, is the "standard explanation."
So what is producing these enormous waves in the middle of oceanic nowhere? Are there aspects of hydro-dynamics we do not know? And what energy source(s) would account for them? More importantly, is there any data to suggest they cluster in or around certain regions of the oceans?
The latter question is important, and relative to my high octane speculation of the day: what if such waves arise as a result of a kind of "scalar" phenomenon, that is to say, of vector-zeroing at certain times and places, creating a sheer magnitude of force (the scalar) at a certain spot or spots in the oceans, much as telluric current or "ley" lines allegedly produce hot spots or nodal points on land surfaces (which, to be clear, I also view as a kind of interferometry of gravity waves). Or to put it a bit more crudely, what if we are looking at the phenomenon of gravity waves rippling on the planet's surface, and momentarily zero-summing at certain spots on the surface or in the oceans, producing prodigious amounts of energy, that eventually have to "go somewhere" in the form of these waves? It is intriguing to me that the former late astronomer Morris Jessup, who was fascinated with UFOs and "disappearing airplanes," speculated similarly with columns of air that were similarly made momentarily "solid" by such a phenomenon, and which - being air - remained invisible to the eye.
If the phenomenon of "rogue waves" is real - and I believe there is sufficient evidence to suggest they are (consider only Christopher Columbus' reporting of the phenomenon as outlined in the article), then it's a geophysical phenomenon that might serve to show some insights into gravity, if my really "high octane speculation" has any merit. And if so, then it's worthy of some geophysical investigation.
... or maybe, taking a cue from Jessup's UFO speculations of the 1950s, somebody is already doing it...
See you on the flip side.