Roaring Forties

The Roaring Forties are some of the strongest continuous winds on the planet that circle the Earth in the Southern Hemisphere.

Due to low land mass at about 40-50 degrees latitude with Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth sitting to it’s south, then extremely hot deserts and flat land in Australia and Africa to the north, form the winds. The power and position of the winds is what give the Roaring 40’s its’ name.

The Roaring Forties were part of major sailing routes where the winds were used to push ships for hundreds or thousands of kilometres.

The Dutch East Indies would take advantage of the winds when sailing from the south of Africa to modern day Indonesia, then the winds become greatly popular again during the 1850’s when ships would sail from England to Australia along what was known as the ‘Clipper Route’.

The Roaring Forties help make the Southern Ocean one of the most treacherous on Earth, but not alone. Just south of the Roaring 40’s are the Furious Fifties and Screaming Sixties.

These winds played a large role in many of the 600+ ships that wrecked along the Shipwreck Coast on Australia’s Great Ocean Road during and after the Australian gold rush era.