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Friday, July 06, 2007

Mad dog wave

Freaque wave is a term that combined the commonly used terms of "freak" wave and "rogue" wave. But they are not the only terms that describe a physical phenomenon occurs in the oceans. For instance, in the west coast of U.S., notably in California or Oregon, they are frequently known as the "sleeper" or "sneaker" waves. In mainland China, under the Communist regime, they were called "killer" wave (殺人浪). On the other hand, in Taiwan, Republic of China, the phenomenon is well known among fishermen as the "mad dog" wave (瘋狗浪). I think, however, the terms of sleeper, or sneaker, or killer, or mad dog, are all pertaining to nearshore freaque waves. Therefore a reasonable simplification of these variety of terms, is to simply call them the deep sea freaque waves and nearshore freaque waves. Indeed Didenkulova et al. (2006) classified the cases as "freak waves in the open sea" and "freak wave events on shore."

From what I can sense, anglers in Taiwan seem to have more awareness regarding "mad dog" wave (瘋狗浪). Still reports show that there are dozens of fishermen yearly in Taiwan being victimized by the mad dog waves. Here's a picture of a Taiwan angler:
And here's a warning picture that shows what can happen to some one if and when an unexpected nearshore freaque wave sweeps over:
Whatever it is called, the danger is the same. Beware!

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