Man photographs strange square waves: seconds later he fears for his life

Sometimes, our eyes can play tricks on us — especially in the age of Photoshop, when almost any image can be manipulated to look real.

But there are also phenomena that might look unbelievable, but in fact are just cases of Mother Earth showing her awesome power.

The square waves in the pictures that that were captured off the coast of a French island called Île de Ré are one such case.


Île de Ré is a French island that’s about 19 miles (30 km) long and 3 miles (5 km) wide. It’s a popular tourist destination, and one day some years back, the people on the island witnessed something bizarre.

At first glance, the waves in front of the island’s light house appeared to form a grid. As far as the eye could see, squares formed on the water surface.

You’d almost think that some magical power caused the waves to make the pattern, but there’s actually a scientific explanation.


It’s a phenomenon called a cross sea. It happens when two distant weather patterns make waves that come together at 90 degree angles. The result is these captivating perpendicular waves that form kind of watery chessboard on the surface of the ocean.

As beautiful as it is, a cross sea can also be extremely dangerous. That’s because boats generally fare better against large waves when they’re perpendicular to waves. But with waves coming from two directions, the chance that a boat capsizes is greater.


Forrtunately, no boats were damaged that day and someone was able to take these fabulous pictures.

Isn’t it interesting to get to know more about the seemingly mysterious ways of Mother Nature?