These grid waves attract tourists but it is a dangerous phenomenon that needs to be known -
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These grid waves attract tourists but…
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These grid waves attract tourists but it is a dangerous phenomenon that needs to be known

February 14, 2018 • By Shirley Marie Bradby

The magnificence of nature often unfolds in unexpected shapes and events of incredible strength.

This is the case of the so-called "cross-sea" or "grid" waves and the effect they produce, which is an observable phenomenon from the Isle of Ré, 2 miles (3.5 km) off the western coast of France, as well as in other places.

The curiosity in question is that the grid waves, that can be observed from the lighthouse on the island, have the appearance of a giant chessboard sketched on the sea surface.

The waves are so particular that they intrigue many tourists and swimmers, yet they are very dangerous to confront.

The Isle of Ré is located at the point of intersection between two different seas.

The phenomenon of the grid waves that occur off the shore of the Isle of Ré would seem at first sight something inexplicable or that derives from some kind of mysterious phenomenon. In reality, this is what happens when two wave systems characterized by different meteorological models cross each other at nearly perpendicular angles.

Despite their impressive visual beauty, the grid waves off the shore of the Isle of Ré are an extremely dangerous phenomenon, since the force of the crossing currents that generate them would most certainly overwhelm swimmers and could cause serious damage to boats. Fortunately, these particular waves originate only in the presence of certain meteorological conditions and they usually take form in oceans, but sometimes the grid waves can also occur in the coastal areas.


A phenomenon with incredible visual power.

The dangers of the grid waves only increase their fame and grandeur, making them one of the most unique and exciting phenomena that can be admired on Earth. Indeed, the island of Ré counts an increasing number of tourists who, regardless of the odds, go to this place in the hope of being able to witness this surprising phenomenon.


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