Events  This happens only once every 18 years!
21/03/201500:00 TV5MONDE

This phenomenon only happens once every 18 years!

On last Saturday 21st March, the day of the equinox, highest tides were expected to be mainly recorded in Northern Brittany, in Saint-Malo, in the Mont Saint-Michel area and also in the Arcachon basin in South-west of France. 
In Saint-Malo, the tidal coefficient has reached 119 on last Saturday, which is extremely high. That's why in France, people call it the Tide of the Century!

©The Mont Saint-Michel (Picture: Reuters / Pascal Rossignol)

Thousands of people have gathered in the Mont Saint-Michel to witness the landmark being surrounded by the water.
The bay of Mont Saint-Michel is composed of a famous beautiful rock island, located 600 meters from land in North-west France, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since year 1979.

The Mont Saint-Michel during low tide

In the Mont Saint-Michel, the difference between the high tide and the low tide has reached 14.25 meters,(which represents the height of a 4 levels-building!) and 13 meters in Saint-Malo. 

The Mont Saint-Michel with the causeway getting under water

People say the sea level in the Mont Saint-Michel moves as fast as a galloping horse, on 25 kilometers!

In comparison, the Mont Saint-Michel during high tide

9 points about the tides phenomenon:

  1. Tides are the result of complex physical reactions involving the moon and the sun attractions on the oceans and seas
  2. In Brittany, the sea advances and retreats twice a day
  3. The equinoxes (March and September) tend to strengthen the rhythm of the tides
  4. The effect is also reinforced thanks to the shape of the coastline
  5. The worldwide average between the low tide and the high tide is 2 meters
  6. In the Mont Saint-Michel bay, this average tidal range reaches 10.50 meters
  7. Never underestimate the power of the sea: it gets really dangerous when people get too close from the big waves during high tides! The streams are also incredibly strong...
  8. There are also quicksands in the Mont Saint-Michel bay
  9. The best activity during low tide time is to go collecting shellfishes and crabs for your dinner 

Beach in Saint-Malo during low tide

In Saint-Malo: 

The city of Saint-Malo, that usually welcomes many tourists during the summer season, has received as many visitors as for a usual Easter weekend. People came especially to see this event which was expected to be spectacular. Apparently this time, the wind was not present enough to create the huge and spectacular waves. This lead to a few disappointments among the crowd. For once, tourists were upset about the weather not being bad enough in Brittany (joke).

Saint-Malo, big waves on le Sillon © Ouest-France

This phenomenon appeared for the last time in March 1997, and will next take place on March 2033. Of course you don't need to wait until 2033 to discover these amazing areas in France.

☺ It doesn't matter if it's low tide or high tide, windy or sunny, this area is a must-see and will at all times be breathtaking...

✍ What about you? Have you seen such phenomenon of tides? Have you visited the Mont Saint-Michel? Leave your comments anytime on facebook and twitter! 

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