These three images depict the incredible mechanics of a breaking wave at Teahupoo. Since one cubic meter weighs one tonne, it is easy to image the forces at work here and the risks that surfers take. This sequence was taken in the early morning when no surfers were yet in the water. One of the peculiarities of this wave is its proximity to the fire coral reef shelf. At low tide, cracks of thunder split the air as the wave hits the shelf.