Areas where high winds and fast currents meet create a focusing effect which leads to the combination of multiple waves, in extreme cases creating larger waves known as freak waves, monster waves, extreme waves and abnormal waves.
Earthquakes in the ocean can also lead to large waves, tsunamis, such as the one that hit Japan earlier this year.
In addition to wind and earthquakes, the shape of the ocean floor can determine the size of waves. If the ocean floor was completely flat, wind would only effect the surface of the water. However, because the ocean floor has many canyons, valleys, hills, and mountains, waves are able to grow to enormous heights.
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