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For ages, the tide protected its secrets.

For ages, the tide protected its secrets.

The pulses of the Earth (6/6). Scientists have been attempting to understand the tide since the dawn of time. Before Isaac Newton in the 17th century and Pierre Simon de Laplace a century later, the relationship between the Earth, sun, and moon not well understood.

On that morning, the Normandy coast’s weather prediction was anything but favorable. However, the tide schedule to be low at sunrise, and the last rays of the full moon would make it easy to distinguish the barriers and explosives that the German soldiers had strewn along the shore. Then the tide would turn, enabling the troops to establish themselves. Therefore, June 6, 1944 chosen by American strategists and their allies as the date to begin the D-Day landings at Arromanches-les-Bains (also known as Gold Beach) and nearby beaches. That day’s ebb and flow of the English Channel made history, but tides don’t have their own name like hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, or powerful ocean currents do.


Timings and sizes of coastal waters’ ebb and flow: Soldiers, fisherman, pirates, and sailors of all kinds have understood the worth of this crucial knowledge for thousands of years. Long before computers and satellites, people relied on observation of this natural phenomenon rather than understanding it to try and forecast the incidence and severity of similar events. This was “the most thorny problem of all celestial mechanics,” as Pierre Simon, Marquis de Laplace, an, mathematician, and physicist, phrased it at the turn of the 18th century.

The basic idea behind the tides can be summed up as a complex clockwork mechanism that propels a massive electric beater that spins on itself. Multiple waves moving through the oceans at various speeds and losing energy when they interact with the continental shelves are what cause tides. Once there, their behavior might be either or lax depending on the coastline’s morphology.

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