In Photos: Monster Waves

Dropping In

Here, surfer Noah Johnson drops into a 30-foot-high (9 meters) behemoth on the Outer Reefs on Nov. 15, 2000.

(Image credit: Getty Images / Staff)

Oahu knows how to make waves. Here, surfer Noah Johnson drops into a 30-foot-high (9 meters) behemoth on the Outer Reefs on Nov. 15, 2000. Johnson was striving for the $60,000 prize in the Swell.com/Surfline Big-Wave Awards. Between Nov. 15, 2000 and March 15, 2001, surfers were charged with finding and riding the biggest waves they could find anywhere in the North Pacific Ocean.

Powerful Ocean

(Image credit: Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA)

Waves breaking as seen from a porthole on the Nathaniel B. Palmer, as it was crossing the Southern Ocean in October 1998.

Wash Out

(Image credit: Commander Richard Behn, NOAA Corps)

NOAA Ship Discoverer gets pounded by waves in the Bering Sea. This picture was taken in 1979.

Surf‘s Up

(Image credit: AP Photo/Swell, Aaron Chang)

Mike Parsons of San Clemente, Calif., successfully negotiates a 60-foot wave at Cortes Bank, located 100 miles off the California coast, in January 2001.

Coastal Flooding

(Image credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Waves crash over the sea wall in Winthrop, Mass., Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003.

Get Out the Way!

(Image credit: AP Photo/Zhan Xiadong, XINHUA)

Spectators flee as huge waves of the Qiantangjiang River approach in east China's Zhejiang Province Sunday, Sept. 8, 2002. Huge tides occurred as Typhoon Sinlaku swept the southern part of the East China Sea with the maximum wind force of 40 yards (meters) per second.

Tsunami Waves

(Image credit: AP Photo/Eric Skitzi)

In this photo taken by tourist Eric Skitzi from England, tourists watch as tsunami waves hit the shore from a safe place inside Casuarina Beach Hotel resort in Penang, northwestern Malaysia on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004 as the greatest tsunami in recent history came ashore. The resort hotel lifeguards noticed waves were huge and sounded warning to all tourists around the hotel beach area to run to the safety area.

Rough Sea

Waves crash on the breakwater at Marquette Harbor in this undated photo.

Storms Intensify

High winds generate large waves on Lake Erie, in this photo taken on October 30, 1996.

High Tides

(Image credit: Image Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library)

Sixteen feet of storm surge struck the Florida Panhandle during Hurricane Eloise. Photo was taken on Sept. 23, 1975.

Big Wave

(Image credit: AP Photo/Ronen Zilberman)

Big waves approach the shores in Waimea Bay in Haleiwa, Hawaii.