Surviving Most Extreme Mega Tsunami in Modern History – True Story

It was July 9, 1958, and an earthquake on
the Fairweather Fault in the Alaska Panhandle rattled for about one minute. It was the strongest in Alaska for 60 years,
and could be felt as far as Seattle. The quake sent around 82 million tons of rock
in the waters of Lituya Bay. All that rock hitting the water was like an
asteroid impact, and the result was the world’s tallest mega-tsunami, measuring something
like 1720 feet (524 meters). The giant mass of a wave continued down the
bay, taking with it any vegetation on the mountainside. That monster destroyed everything in its path. One man and his son were sleeping in a boat
in that bay as all this happened. Through the skin of their teeth they survived,
but others weren’t so lucky. Howard Ulrich and his eight-year old son named
Sonny had been catching some Zs on their boat, the Edrie, when the earthquake happened. (Credit: They had been out salmon fishing throughout
the day and had retired to their bunks. Just after 10 pm their bunks started shaking,
almost knocking the two guys onto the floor. Howard had no idea what had happened, so he
got up and went on to the deck. The boat was still shaking violently from
side-to-side. Suddenly there was an eerie calm for about
2 1/2 minutes, and what followed almost knocked Howard off his feet. He heard a crashing sound that was deafening,
which was the rocks hitting the water in the bay. His son joined him on the deck. They both looked into the distance down the
bay, and on each side they saw the mountains shuddering, sending snow flying high into
the air. Suddenly the two witnessed a wave coming towards
them, so large they could hardly believe their eyes! As the wave approached though, it became smaller.. Still, it was racing down the bay at about
120 mph (193 km/hr), taking out trees on the mountainside, plucking hundreds from their
roots in a matter of seconds. Howard now knew this was no time for standing
around and admiring the power of nature. There was no way this wave was going to stop
before it hit their small boat. Howard told Sonny to put on his life preserver
and start praying to God Almighty. There was not much he could do to steer the
boat out of the way since it was anchored, but he managed to turn on the engine and steer
the boat so it was facing the oncoming wave. Had he had not done that, the two might not
have survived. Howard dropped the anchor as low as it could
go and his last words on the radio were, “Mayday, Mayday. This is the Edrie in Lituya Bay. All hell has busted loose in here. I think we’ve had it. Good-bye.” The wave was now 1720 feet when it was close
enough for Howard to really see what was coming, but receded to just 100 feet high as it neared. When it finally reached them the wave was
only around 50 to 75 feet high, but that was enough to snap that anchor chain like it was
nothing but a fishing line. The boat rose high into the air, riding the
wave. With such force Howard believed the boat would
be thrown to the land and smashed to pieces, but that didn’t happen. Once they were over the crest of the wave
there was more danger, because the choppy waters were full of debris that the wave had
taken with it. The two weren’t out of trouble yet, and
little did they know, others were in danger, too. Unfortunately, not everyone was as fortunate
as Howard and Sonny and managed to ride the mega-tsunami. Some would succumb to the giant wave. There were two other boats in the bay on that
historic day, a boat owned by Bill and Vi Swanson named Badger, and a boat named Sumore
owned by another couple, Orville and Mickey Wagner. Both these couples were actually friends and
prior to the incident had waved across the water and said hello. When Bill Swanson felt the swaying of his
boat he too got up to see what was happening. He later described what he saw next was, “like
a big load of rocks spilling out of a dump truck.” That might have been an understatement, because
the rocks that hit the water would have weighed as much as 240 Empire State Buildings. The Swanson’s boat was lifted even higher
when it was hit by the wave. In Bill’s own words, he said, “We went
away up over the trees, and I looked down on rocks as big as an ordinary house as we
crossed the spit. We were away up above them. It felt like we were in a tin can and somebody
was shaking it.” Looking down at the trees, Bill believed he
was at least 80 feet in the air when on the crest of the wave. That crest broke and the Badger landed quite
close to the shoreline. The boat soon began to sink and suddenly trees
and other debris flooded into it. Bill was hit in the chest and broke a couple
of ribs, but both he and his wife didn’t go under. The couple, still in their underwear, quickly
got in their small dingy. The water was rough and full of trees, but
they managed to use that dingy to steer out of danger. They were rescued by a fishing boat about
two hours later. Referring to what he saw that evening right
after the earthquake, Bill later said, “People shake their head when I tell them I saw it
that night. I can’t help it if they don’t believe me,
but I know what I saw that night.” On the opposite side of the bay the Sunmore
and its occupants Orville and Mickey Wagner were not so fortunate. Unlike the two other boats, after the earthquake
hit, the couple decided to get out of the bay. This might seem like a wise decision, but
just as they turned out of the entrance the wave hit them from the side. The boat flipped and was taken by the wave. The couple did not survive. It could have been a much bigger tragedy,
though, since two groups of campers consisting of twenty people should have been camping
on the shoreline of the bay that evening. Lady luck must have smiled on them, because
the two groups had decided for various reasons not to camp. Had they been there when that wave hit, they
would have been taken by the waves along with the trees they were camping next to. Howard and Sonny didn’t give up fishing,
although after a year Howard retired as a commercial fisherman. Bill and Vi soon recovered from their injuries,
but Vi said she’d never get in a boat again. Bill did, and on May 26, 1962, almost four
years after the accident, he returned to Lituya Bay in his boat the St. Nicholas. It was the first time he’d been back since
the accident. This man, now a 50-year old in good health,
died of a massive heart attack just as soon as his boat passed through the entrance. Looks like the wave got him in the end. Here at the Infographics Show we always have
more amazing tales, so now go watch the “Crazy And Sad Story of Man Lost In The Jungle For
27 Days” or “The Hindenburg Disaster – The Titanic of the Sky”.

100 thoughts on “Surviving Most Extreme Mega Tsunami in Modern History – True Story

  1. Before Tsunami
    -Hey son, you wanna go fishing?

    After Tsunami
    -Hey son, you wanna go bowling?

  2. “Oh you know, the wave measured something like 1,720.64 feet.. just a rough estimate” 😂😂

  3. Attention motivational speect A Tsunami is no match for all of us if we all drink we won't die… Drink like we have never drank before and we shall be saved… Just remember nothing is impossibe

  4. Remember Kids use Protection

    Your welcome if u don't have use plastic bags thank me later.

  5. This is why I just stay deep in the wilderness far away from the sea

  6. Me: Wow big wave * a minute later*

    My dad: MAYDAY MADY

    Me: you don't even own a boat dude..

  7. You get the best barrels ever dude, you smack the lip wapaah then get pitted…just so pitted 🤙

  8. don't worry I made an anti asain nuke that kills al asains soon the coronavirus will be wiped out of this universe with my anti asiain nuke

  9. The Infographics Show next challenge: simping on twitter for one month challenge

  10. I never watch the videos when they come out but when I click on em and find out they are this short I’m very happy

  11. If he was in great health, than how'd he die from a massive heart attack? That doesn't make sense and you didn't explain it.

  12. Tsunami has a barelling speed of 120 MPH.
    > me to the Tsunami wave: HARDER DADDY!

  13. @ 2:06 last last words he said over the anchor ⚓ "mayday mayday!" I think that was a mistake lol I'm pretty sure the last thing he said wasn't over the ⚓ more like radio..

  14. To be clear, the wave crest was not 1720 feet. That was the max run up height on land. The wave was most likely closer to 100-200 feet tall

  15. To be clear, the wave crest was not 1720 feet. That was the max run up height on land. The wave was most likely closer to 100-200 feet tall

  16. That was a huge wave!! I’ve seen a documentary on this years ago and always wondered how those 2 must’ve been thinking 😱

  17. Lituya Mega Tsunami: im the most big tsunami in history

    Chicxulub Mega Tsunami: hello there

  18. Hey infographics show can you do a video on the mercy brown vampire incident. I would love it if you do so

  19. “Looks like the wave got him in the end”… that’s a pretty insensitive thing to say

  20. "8 year old son named sonny."
    That's weird I'm a 21 year old commenter named commentary.

  21. So what i'm about to say is not a joke and i'm not lying or anything, its been a year or so since i've been having a lot of tsunami dreams, of all diferent kinds and ways, its really weird and scary…its like i have a tsunami dream 3 times a month

  22. Imagine seeing a skyscraper height of water coming… out of a nightmare.

  23. AWESOME VID! thanks for the quality content. You speak straight FACTS INFOGRAPHICS!!! i send mine.

    EDIT i send mine means i send my love! Sorry heheh. Thats south side slang.

  24. just two victims of tsunami in west is big news and when tsunami kills thousands in east it's normal

  25. Was it his son or wife? I'm confused u show a son and say son then he turns into a wife

  26. Can't wait until a 1700 foot wave hits the Pacific after an asteroid hits it, the 2004 one was a joke, only 230k died.

  27. A family friend was on Kodiak island when a tsunami hit and came up almost to the foundation of his family’s house. He said that same earthquake had caused a tidal wave so massive, it cleared an entire village, coming in from one side, and going across back into the water on the other side wiping out everyone.

  28. This sounds eeeepic since I'm a big fan of natural disaster movies and this sounds really interesting and cool.

  29. "And his last words on the anchor were "Mayday! Mayday!"" Don't you mean radio transmitter or something?

  30. But I would say, the shape of a boat is one of the most epic creation of man kind.

  31. You should do a video on how it would be if the Coronavirus spread through the USA

  32. When you say true story me no believe that but this is a great video

  33. This sounds like a story that would be on their other channel

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