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20 Breathtaking Wave Photos You Won’t Believe Are Real

Updated: Feb. 06, 2023

These beautiful ocean and wave photos from an unbelievable perspective will leave you speechless and longing for the ocean.

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Waves breaking on the coast of Lanzarote, La Santa. Canary Island
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Breathtaking waves

The vast oceans around the world are truly beautiful. Crashing waves, moving tides, and different colors of surf and wildlife can make for some really gorgeous photos. Take a look at these wave photos to get a beautiful glimpse into what mother nature can do. These jaw-dropping photos of the world’s most beautiful countries are also so stunning it’s hard to believe they are real.

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Big wave breaking at sunset
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Huge crash

This giant wave is crashing as a small bit of sunlight reflects off of it at sunset. Also, read up on these fascinating facts about the world’s oceans.

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Surfer duck diving
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Swimming under

A brave surfer duck dives under the wave after deciding not to ride it in.

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Surf smashing into Na Pali coast in Hawaii.
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Fan of water

The surf fans out as it crashes into Na Pali coast in Hawaii. Scientists still can’t explain these mysteries about the ocean.

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Waves of water of the river and the sea meet each other during high tide and low tide.
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Churning tide

Whirlpools form as water from a river and the sea meet each other during high and low tide.

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Windy Coast
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Surrounding the lighthouse

The first big storm of 2013 hits the Douro River harbor. Wind gusts were strong causing massive waves to crash up against the lighthouse. These are the creepiest things you can find at the bottom of the ocean.

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CLOSE UP: Fearless young surfboarder rides inside a spectacular barrel wave.
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Riding through

A young surfer rides through a barrel wave in French Polynesia.

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Breaking Wave
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Still moment

A photographer captures a wave about to break. The water looks as if it’s stretching into a circle. This is what the world’s most polluted beaches used to look like.

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High Surf at the Wedge
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High surf

Surfers enjoyed the high surf created by Hurricane Maria at Newport Beach. Some waves were up to 25 feet high.

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Sunset Wave
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Sun coming through

The sun shines bright through the barrel of a wave. Check out the most beautiful glowing beaches around the world.

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Wild blue
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Half broken

Further in the distance, the wave crashes while up close it’s still building up. Check out these photos of the world’s most beautiful trees.

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Aerial view of woman on black sand beach in Iceland
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Taking over the shore

A woman, looking very small, stands on a black sand beach in Iceland as the waves move in and out. Here are some of the other most gorgeous black sand beaches in the world.

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Beautiful picture of a wave crushing underwater
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Underwater view

A rare view of a wave crashing from underwater.

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Sunset Surfer
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The dark and light

The sun setting behind the waves makes the top of the wave look almost clear while the water below is dark. These are the 12 most visited beaches in the world.

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Wave crashing underwater
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Looking up

This image of a wave crashing from underwater looks like an abstract painting.

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Sea eye
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Dangerous shot

In order to get this dangerous shot, the photographer had to risk being in a big swell breaking over a sharp reef below. It’s worth the risk when the photo comes out this breathtaking though. You also need to see these strikingly beautiful animal photos.

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Aerial shooting of big wave surfing in Bali. Big waves in ocean
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Bigger than life

It can be hard to understand just how big waves can get. The surfer at the base of the wave allows you to get an idea of just how massive and powerful the ocean really is.

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Top view of the ocean and a massive wave crashing. Storm wave breaking in the sea, ocean
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Storm brewing

Huge waves break in the ocean in Australia as a storm starts to roll in. If these waves make you crave the beach, these are the best beaches in every state.

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Man watching big waves in Nazare, Portugal.
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Hitting the rocks

A man watches the waves crash over the rocks in Nazaré, Portugal. In this spot, there’s an underwater canyon that causes some of the biggest waves in the world.

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Big Wave Surf in Nazaré, Portugal
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Riding the surf

A professional surfer takes on the big waves caused by the underwater canyon in Nazaré, Portugal. The big waves allow surfers to break lots of records.

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Pink flare in the ocean
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Pink wave

A gorgeous turquoise blue wave crashed under a pink sunset sky. Or, equally spectacular, pink waves under a pink sky. Now, take a look at the most gorgeous pink sand beaches in the world.