Pororoca, the mother of all waves

September 29, 2008 | By More

Pororoca, a word coming from the tupi for roar, could be the perfect title for a B-side movie. The truth is that is hard not to stare at the pororoca in awe, for the mightiest tidal bore in the entire world commands more than respect.

The pororoca is a phenomenon resulting from the meeting of the Amazon waters with the Ocean waters. As the sea level rises, its waters invade the mouth of the rivers, forming waves that are dozens and even hundreds of meters wide and up to five meters high, travelling at maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour. The irregular river basin makes it impossible to tell when will the next pororoca rise, and how strong it will be.

There are several tidal bores around the world, but the most spectacular ones happen in Brazil, in the mouth of the Amazon river and specially in the river Araguari, in the state of Amapá.


Enlarge the map

The first video I have selected contains a short documentary on the phenomenon. It contains some beautiful images. From minute 2:40 onwards you will see several shots of the effec the pororoca has on the river side. A real river tsunami.

The second video is a trailer for a documentary on the activity that has given the pororoca world-wide fame: surfing. The chance of surfing on a never-ending wave is every surfer’s dream. As the pororoca extendes for dozens of kilometers, it offers a unique chance to turn that dream into reality. Some of the images on the video are really spectacular. You will see how the motorboats have to sail before the wave to drop the surfers.

The world record for the longest distance covered on a surf board is 10,1 kilometers and belongs to Brazilian Sérgio Laus – he spent 33 minutes surfing on the river Araguari. The record for the longest time surfing the pororoca belongs to Picuruta Salazar, who spent incredible 37 minutes surfing in the river.

Yet another amazing secret Brazil keeps in store for us.

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Category: Activities, Typical Brazilian

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