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Just How Big Can a Tsunami Really Get? Let This Video Explain

If there’s one thing we as humans know about tsunamis, it’s that there’s a lot we don’t know about them. We understand that they’re caused by the displacement of a large amount of water, but we don’t know what causes that, exactly. Earthquakes are a common culprit, but while giant quakes won’t generate a tsunami, significantly smaller ones can and have.

That said, there’s also a lot we do know about tsunamis, and many of those facts are presented in the latest video from RealLifeLore, which provides an answer to the question, “How big do tsunamis get?” (via Viral Viral Videos).

The answer is really big, and it all went down about 66 million years ago. The asteroid that is a primary suspect in the eradication of the dinosaurs likely caused the largest “megatsunami” in our planet’s history when it crashed into what we today call the Gulf of Mexico. The asteroid, which was about six miles in diameter, released 100 teratons of energy; Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear device ever detonated, released 0.0000005% that amount of energy, or 50 megatons, meaning you’d need two million Tsar Bombas to equal that amount of power.

This caused a wave that has been estimated about 3.1 miles high. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s, um, very high.

There’s not a heck of a lot you’d be able to do to negate the effects of a wave that high, but thankfully, we don’t see an asteroid-based extinction event coming on soon, so check out the video above and know that at least for the moment, humanity is probably OK.

Did you learn something new from the video? Let us know in comments below!

Featured image: Petra Bensted

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