Weather Wise Kids: Biggest Wave Ever Recorded

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9-year-old Lily loves going to the beach, and she wants to know what’s the biggest wave ever recorded.

Well Lily, I love the beach too!  Just a few minutes from downtown Savannah, Tybee is where the sand is soft and the waves are usually mild.

Usually… that is.

There are times that the waves can get as high as six to eight feet.  This is when swimmers are told to stay out of the water, but surfers come out.  They hope to catch the perfect wave.

While six to eight foot waves are impressive, it’s nothing compared to the wave that hit Alaska back in 1958.

The biggest wave ever recorded happened late at night when an earthquake struck the Fairweather Fault in southeast Alaska.  This then triggered a massive landslide in a narrow bay.  The landslide then triggered a 1,700-foot wave… the largest ever recorded for a tsunami.

A 1,700-foot wave… this wave was as tall as the One World Trade Center in New York City!!!  It was a wave so large that it swamped five square miles of land and cleared millions of trees.

Remarkably, only two people got killed ~ two boaters that were anchored in the bay.

This was the first time that scientists realized a landslide could produce a giant wave.

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