Ocean Waves {InstaScience}


There are very few things as peaceful as the sound of the ocean waves as they gently crest onto shore. It is a sound you can count on hearing every time you set foot in the beach.

But what causes this to happen? Waves are the result of energy moving through the water. And there are two main causes for the waves we find on the beach.

First as the wind moves over the surface of the water it creates friction, which cause surfaces waves. Second as the sun and moon move around the earth they exert a gravitational pull, which causes the tidal movement in the oceans and contributes the the waves that form in the water.

Fun Fact – The tallest wave ever measured was 1719 feet at Lituya Bay, Alaska.

Links to Research

Want to learn more about waves? Check out the following articles:

Related Homeschool Science Activities

Keep the learning going with these science activities!

  • Explore Wave Erosion – Use this wave activity from Shoreline Science to see how wave erode the shore.
  • Waves in a Bottle – Grab a plastic bottle, baby oil, water, and blue food coloring. Fill the bottle a little less than halfway with water and add a few drops of food coloring until you get a nice blue color. Then, slowly pour in the baby oil until the bottle is almost full. Put the cap tightly on (you may want to glue or tape it on so it won’t spill). Turn the bottle on its side and move it back and forth to see the wave action!