Rogue waves: large and rare | Photo: Ben Salter/Creative Commons

What is a rogue wave? Rogue waves are unusual large waves, whose height is more than twice the significant wave height. They're also known as freak waves or abnormal waves, but they should not be confused with tsunami waves.

Rogue waves are everywhere. They can observed in all oceans and even in lakes. They're a threat to ships and ocean liners. This type of waves may or may not break. A rogue wave can simply reduce in size.

Scientists have been studying their predictability for quite a while. Recently, a team of researchers from the Max Born Institute, in Berlin, Germany, concluded that "it is not true that they 'appear out of nowhere and leave without a trace', which has often been claimed to be a characteristic feature of ocean rogue waves."

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Hydrothermal vents: rich in both carbonate minerals and hydrocarbons | Photo: NOAA/Creative Commons

Researchers have discovered a large, unique and previously unknown field of hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California, about 150 kilometers (100 miles) east of La Paz, Mexico.

The only vents in the Pacific known to emit superheated fluids of up to 290°C are rich in both carbonate minerals and hydrocarbons, and were found more than 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) below the surface.

The Pescadero Basin vents are the deepest high-temperature hydrothermal vents ever observed in or around the Pacific Ocean. They were identified by high-resolution sonar data collected by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

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Oil spill: Santa Barbara suffers once again | Photo: KTLA

A ruptured in an underground pipeline leaked an estimated 105,000 gallons of crude near Santa Barbara, in California.

The spill sent oil to local beaches, and sea lions were spotted swimming in dark waters. The sands of Refugio State Beach have already turned black, and the spill will likely move south.

"It's a moving target. Unfortunately, it's not an exact science when we're dealing with changing conditions out there," underlines, Capt. Jennifer Williams of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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