The boiling water phenomenon is the name given to the intense surface signature of intense internal waves in the Strait of Gibraltar. According to Bruno et al. :
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Those surface signatures in the Gibraltar Strait are known by the local Spanish fishermen and sailors as ”hervideros” (boiling waters) and ”hileros de corriente” (streamers), in reference to the visible behaviour of the surface waters. They were reported in the literature, for the first time, in the Spanish Navy Sailing Directions by Tofi˜no (1832), being mentioned and documented as well in the English Sailing Directory by Purdy (1840) and later editions of the Spanish Sailing Directions. A free translation of part of their description is as follows: ”They appear instantaneously without previous signs. Suddenly a roughness in the sea surface appears as when the water is boiling, and a surfing chaotic sea is established. If wind and wind-induced forces are considered, the streamers are dangerous not only for smaller ships but for bigger ships also. Sometimes the vessel acquires a vortex motion without steerage”.
- Physical Oceanography Index
- Miguel Bruno, Jos´e Juan Alonso, Andr´es C´ozar, Juan Vidal, Antonio Ruiz-Ca˜navate, Fidel Echevarr´?a, and Javier Ruiz. The boiling–water phenomena at Camarinal Sill, the strait of Gibraltar. DSR II, 49: 4097–4113, 2002.