62-foot-high wave becomes highest ever recorded

There is a new titleholder for the highest wave ever recorded.

The World Meteorological Organization, or WMO, has announced in a recent news release that it now belongs to a 62.3-foot-high-wave which "was recorded by an automated buoy...on [February 4,] 2013 in the North Atlantic ocean between Iceland and the United Kingdom."

As such, the event has also been named "the highest significant wave height as measured by a buoy."

Related: NOAA Ocean Explorer sea creatures

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NOAA Ocean Explorer sea creatures

A purple crinoid hangs out on a dead coral stalk.

(Photo via NOAA)

D2 discovered one of the largest aggregations of brisingid sea stars anyone on the ship had ever seen.

(Photo: NOAA)

Seeing two deep sea animals interacting with each other is rare. What is particularly rare is when they behave the opposite of how we expect them to. As we approached this armored sea robin, a brittle star climbed on top. We were pretty sure that the fish would try to eat the brittle star, but as it turns out, it just wanted to dislodge the extra baggage. The brittle star then proceeded to climb on top of the sea robin two more times.

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Benthic jellyfish.

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Brisingid sea stars.

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Ceramaster granularis. (Goniasteridae)

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Neomorphaster forcipatus (Stichasteridae).

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This beautiful hydromedusa was imaged in Washington Canyon. Unfortunately, none of the scientists watching the dive live specialized in water column life.  However, due to the pace at which telepresence allows us to disseminate information, the video of this organism was quickly circulated around the country to experts in the field and the hydromedusa was identified as Cyclocanna welshi with a couple days.

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We imaged this purple octopus with large glassy eyes during dive #8. 

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Crossota sp., a deep red medusa found just off the bottom of the deep sea.

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Anemone attached to a carbonate boulder near the GC852 sampling station at 1,500 meters depth.

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A lovely sea cucumber dancing in the water column is imaged by the Little Hercules ROV at approximately 1500 meters depth offshore Kona, Hawaii. Image taken during ROV shakedown operations aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer on March 22, 2010.

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Here, an octopus mother protects her eggs in Hendrickson Canyon. If you look closely, you can see the eyes of a baby octopus through the egg. 

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Portrait of a juvenile boxfish, 1 cm long, collected by a bluewater diver in the top 30 meters of the Celebes Sea water column.

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Image of the breathtaking squid captured on camera during ROV Dive 3.

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Rock hind in a sponge photographed while free diving off Klien Bonaire in about 20 ft. of water.  Image courtesy of Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies, Chris Coccaro, NOAA-OE.

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This stunning octopod, Benthoctopus sp., seemed quite interested in ALVIN's port manipulator arm. Those inside the sub were surprised by the octopod's inquisitive behavior.

(Photo via NOAA)

This giant isopod is a representative of one of approximately nine species of large isopods (crustaceans related to shrimps and crabs) in the genus Bathynomus. They are thought to be abundant in cold, deep waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Bob Carney of LSU caught this specimen in one of his deep-water fish traps.

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Aulococtena is the size and color of an orange and has two tentacles that are white, thick, unbranched and very sticky. This species has been encountered from 350-1100 meters deep on this expedition.

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Scientists have attributed the unprecedented swell to a cold front which had swept through the area and generated maximum winds of around 50 miles an hour.

Wenjian Zhang, an official with the WMO, is quoted as saying, "This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 meters [62.3 feet]. It is a remarkable record."

He went on to state, "It highlights the importance of meteorological and ocean observations and forecasts to ensure the safety of the global maritime industry and to protect the lives of crew and passengers on busy shipping lanes."

The release explains that buoys such as the one that documented the event are part of an extensive system, along with ship and satellite-based monitoring, which help to provide ongoing updates about the seas.

The previous highest wave, which was recorded in 2007, was nearly 60-feet tall.

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