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Facts: Ocean's Fury

Dr. Ballard travels the world in search of the forces behind the motion of the ocean, meeting with scientists and practitioners along the way to prove a single point: the ocean is growing more dangerous by the day.

Dr. Ballard travels the world in search of the forces behind the motion of the ocean, meeting with scientists and practitioners along the way to prove a single point: the ocean is growing more dangerous by the day. (View larger version)

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  • A rogue wave is one that if greater than twice the size of the surrounding waves.

  • Rogue waves are formed when smaller waves collide and build on each other until they create a massive wave.

  • On average on ship sinks in the ocean every week.

  • Bartholomew Dias dubbed the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa the Cape of Storms in 1488.

  • Rogue waves occur more frequently near South Africa than in most other places as strong winds blow against the Agulhas Current.

  • Currently South Africa is the only place on the planet where Rogues can be predicted.

  • Lloyds of London began in Edward Lloyd's coffee shop in the 1688 when it became known as the place to purchase marine insurance.

  • Lloyds of London is the world's oldest continuously functioning insurance market.

  • Lloyds has maintained a handwritten ledger of ships that have been lost to the sea for the last three hundred years.

  • The Columbia River Bar is a stretch of water in the US's Pacific Northwest where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.

  • The Bar is also known as the Graveyard of the Pacific having taken roughly 2000 ships and 700 lives in recorded history.

  • The Columbia River Bar Pilots came to be in 1846 to help guide ships through the treacherous stretch of water.

  • Teahupoo, one of the world's baddest waves, translate roughly from Tahitian to "Broken Skulls".

  • A major reason for Teahupoo's massive size is a very deep ocean collides with a very shallow reef not far from shore, leaving a wave with no place to go but up.

  • Waves are usually the result of wind disrupting the ocean's surface.

  • Deep ocean currents (like the Global Conveyor Belt) begin when cold water turns to ice and leaves behind dense, salty water. This heavy water sinks and consequently pulls in water to replace it at the surface.

  • Research indicates that the Global Conveyor belt is affected by climate change. If more occurs it has the potential to slow or even stop the conveyor affecting temperatures around the globe.

  • There are over 200 species of jellyfish identified in the world so far.

  • More than a 100 million people live within 3 feet of sea level.

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