The British summertime is renowned for being a little unpredictable and as such the centre of attention for any social small talk – but the wilds of Cornwall witnessed a rather unusual phenomenon on Monday when a mini-tsunami hit the south coast.
Running the breadth of the coastline from Penzance to Plymouth (and further afield to Portsmouth) the surge of water is believed to have been caused by a large underwater landslide, which shifted the floor of the seabed, changing the water level and forcing a surplus of seawater in land. Whilst details are still uncertain, specialists at Plymouth University and the MET Office reported sightings of the sea being ‘sucked out’ before returning at speed and at a height in excess of 30cm of the predicted tide.
Fisherman watched boats thrown about by the wave close to Plymouth, bait diggers fled the beaches in Newlyn and tourists were left knee deep in water and with their hair standing on end at St Michaels Mount causeway, as a change of pressure created a surge in static.
We’re used to huge breakers, brisk sea breezes and constant mizzle, but this is a new addition to the Cornish metrological diary – taking its place in the UK ‘strange but true’ story book, alongside the likes of the Blackpool earthquake and Birmingham tornado.
If anyone actually saw it, we’d love to hear from you – post a comment below!