Mauritania. Now there's a country you don't hear about every day, and it's definitely not the first word of many stories you read.
But Mauritania -- which for the record is the world's 29th-largest nation situated in the western Sahara region of Africa -- might just be home to the incredible wave which Mick Fanning just surfed, and which the entire surfing world is obsessing over.
This is a wave like no other. Watch the video below and we'll talk in a few minutes.
OK, so even if you're not a surfing person, you can appreciate the way this wave just barrels and barrels and barrels. Surfers dream of this. That sense of being enclosed in a watery tube is like no other. Normally barrels are fleeting. But these things just keep coming and coming.
Here's what Rip Curl said about the wave, which has been dubbed "The Snake". We have next to no idea what this means but it sure sounds impressive.
"The Snake breaks close to the shore and each wave pushes a surge of water up the beach that is quickly sucked back out. It creates a side-shore flood of condensed kinetic energy that has nowhere to go but up the face and into the lip, driving back into the sand bottom below."
Here's what Mick himself had to say:
"I was freaking out at first. I was pumping through the tube just going pedal to the metal and I couldn't make one. And then I got my groove on and sometimes I was on the foam ball flying."
In other words, the wave moves really fast and is hard to catch until you get used to it. But WHERE IS IT?
Well this week, the people of the internet have been doing what they do, which is speculating. Locations far and wide have been suggested, but the popular consensus seems to be that it looks like the west coast of Africa.
That could mean somewhere like Namibia, which is located just north of South Africa and has become a bit of a surfing Mecca. Or it could mean Mauritania, where there is footage of a wave and beach remarkably similar to the one Mick surfed (at about 3:30 in this video).
A good clue came from a commenter underneath the YouTube video of Fanning surfing the wave, who pointed out that it's likely to be a spot in the developing world, due to the following anecdote Mick shared of his trip:
"I'll never forget it. I was running back up the point and there was this local guy squatting down and he high-fived me! I thought that was great until I realised he was squatting to drop his daily turd!"
That's not a particularly savoury note to end on, so we'll leave you with a lovely picture of the wave -- wherever the damned thing is.
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