At 3:00 p.m. On the day of the year 1995, the work was stopped at the platform of the Norwegian oil rig Draupner, which was isolated in the stormy North Sea. The wind had grown too strong, the waves ran below, and it was no longer safe to be outside.
But a wave swallowed others. He measured 84 feet of height, approximately two times a height of a telephone pole, and then called "Draupner wave." Fortunately, the monstrous waves did not reach the platform platform.
Draupner's dream was the first scientific evidence of a weird evil or freak, which is a wave that appears suddenly and that measures at least twice the height of the surrounding waves. These fleeting and colossal phenomena are considered to be guilty of the still inexplicable collapse of ships on the open ocean.
Although there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the way in which dishonest waves are formed, a team of engineering scientists has successfully simulated a way that frequent waves can suddenly rise to the sea. The researchers recreated a (smaller version) of a Draupner wave in a simulation group, and published their research at Fluid Mechanics Magazine.
"There is a much heated debate about the physical mechanisms of how these things are formed," said Mark McAllister, a mechanical engineer at the University of Oxford and co-author of the research. "We have shown the conditions that can support this wave."
This simulation, achieved at the 82-foot diameter test tank of the University of Edinburgh, designed to create real conditions in the ocean, showed that when a series of waves are crossed at large angles (around 120 degrees), a freak wave will be formed.
"It's an important piece of the puzzle," said Günter Steinmeyer, a physicist at the Max Born Institute of Nonlinear Optics and Short Spectroscopy in Germany, who has investigated malignant waves.
Even so, he emphasized that there is still a lot that we do not know about these unobtrusive waves, even more than two decades after the famous Draupner event.
"Approximately 20 years later we firmly believe that there are, but there are so many explanations around," said Steinmeyer, who had no role in the study. "They're so rare."
"If you ask three scientists in the field, you will surely hear four different stories, and everyone is sure that all other explanations are completely wrong," he added.
To create a Draupner, the engineers spent about two days sending waves to another in several angles, until they found the right combination. The album was very similar to the famous "The Great Wave of Kanagawa" wood imprint of the early 1830s of the Hokusai artist.
"The resemblance to the Great Wave of Hokusai was purely coincident, but a very pleasant surprise," said Samuel Draycott, an engineer at Edinburgh University and a co-author, via email.
"Only a few months later I read theories that the great wave of Hokusai could really represent the so-called unpleasant wave," added Draycott.
They've reported freak waves both in the open ocean and in the nearby coasts, said Draycott. Consequently, understanding when a dishonest wave occurs can help seafarers or people working at sea know when conditions are ripe for dishonor, such as two storms that come from different angles .
"There are theories that say it's random," McAllister said. "And others say that if you have specific conditions, the waves will grow in height."
Although, probably, there is a lot of probability of playing with any deny wave, Steinmeyer said.
The weather conditions must be correct (perhaps stormy). Waves that come from different directions also have to hit precisely at the right time and the right angle, as they did next to the Draupner platform.
"Statistically, it's a pretty small number," said Steinmeyer. Even so, he pointed out that some captains of ships that have been in the sea for decades have reported observing huge waves of Draupner.
Draupner's wave of 1995, at least, left the runaway workers in the middle of the southern North Sea, but unharmed.
"Fortunately, the platform was high enough so that the wave did not reach the fight," said McAllister. "If it had been lower, it could have been quite catastrophic."