What is the tallest wave ever recorded on Earth?

A huge wave breaks. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

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In July 1958, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake on the Fairweather Fault struck Alaska’s southern coast. The harrowing event caused a massive landslide in nearby Lituya Bay, triggering a devastating tsunami that swept through the narrow body of water, killing five people.

The colossal wave has downed trees on the steep slopes surrounding the bay to a maximum elevation of 1,719 feet (524 meters) above sea level — higher than New York’s Empire State Building (which stands at 1,454 feet or 443 m). This is known as the run-up height, or the height the wave reaches after it hits land.

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