Can you say “pororoca”?
Twice a year, between the months of February and March, the Atlantic Ocean waters roll up the Amazon river, in Brazil, generating the longest wave on the Earth. The phenomenon, known as the Pororoca, is caused by the tides of the Atlantic Ocean which meet the mouth of the river. This tidal bore generates waves up to 12 feet high which can last for over half an hour.
The name “Pororoca” comes from the indigenous Tupi language, where it translates into “great destructive noise”. The wave can be heard about 30 minutes before its arrival, and it’s so powerful that it can destroy anything, including trees, local houses and all kind of animals.
The wave has become popular with surfers. Since 1999, an annual championship has been held in São Domingos do Capim. However, surfing the Pororoca is especially dangerous, as the water contains a significant amount of debris from the margins of the river (often, entire trees).
Surfers have only recently realized the extreme challenge of surfing the pororoca”, despite the fact of the large risks involved; ship waste and wreckage, poisonous snakes, to name just a few. This massive wave gives them the chance to surf and stay on their boards for an extremely long time.
For more info on this incredible wave, check out the National Geographic article, HERE.
Bonus info: The Qiantang River, China, has the world’s largest bore. It is up to 30 feet high and travels at up to 25 miles an hour!