06/05/2012 11:42 am ET

15 Incredible Images Of Waves Smashing Against Piers

Whoosh! As the massive wave unleashes its fury, the onlookers instinctively duck their heads, even those stood safely on the boardwalk. However, the pier takes the brunt of the wave’s force, and while it was erected well over a hundred years ago, it’s still standing strong.

Apart from providing ships with a place for docking, piers – particularly those designed for pleasure – are great places for taking a stroll. Rather confusingly, more solidly constructed breakwaters are also commonly referred to as piers, but unlike their raised and supported counterparts, breakwaters perform an important defensive function, protecting coastlines against the force of waves. Yet whether built of stone or propped up by pillars or piles, come rain, hail or snow, these structures stand their ground. We’ve found 15 photos of steadfast piers and breakwaters getting pummeled by the ocean but not succumbing to Nature’s might.

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