Yo, Duuuude! Get Your Surfboard

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A new meteorological buoy in the Southern Ocean may have recorded the largest wave — 78 feet tall — ever measured in the Southern Hemisphere. It may also have failed to record an even bigger one. We’ll never know for sure because the buoy is not a full-time employee. It’s solar-powered, so it needs to conserve its energy. It works only 20 minutes per three hours, transmits its data via satellite, and then takes the next two-and-a-half hours off. Not a bad gig, if you don’t mind rough weather.

This article originally appeared in the July 2018 issue.