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Catch a monster wave--in super slo-mo and HD

A specially designed underwater HD camera captures amazing footage of monster waves for a BBC documentary on the South Pacific.

The Typhoon HD4 camera

The world as you see it can be so much more amazing in slow motion. It's then that you can really take time to appreciate the forces of nature.

With that in mind, Australian underwater cameraman Bali Strickland, and Dylan Longbottom, an Australian world-class surfer, teamed up to capture the waves of Micronesia's Caroline Islands. With the help of the BBC's Natural History Unit, they were able to capture the stunning vortexes created by the monster 12-foot waves--and Longbottom riding through the barrel.

The task was done in advance of the BBC's new documentary "South Pacific" with a special camera called TyphoonHD4. This $100,000 high-speed cam can operate in super slow motion and can shoot in high definition at 20 times the speed of a normal HD camera.

The camera had been specially modified for the job, requiring a special housing unit designed for high-speed filming by Rudi Diesel, a German high-speed cameraman/technician. This was the first time this type of camera has been used for underwater filming.

Technically, the TyphoonHD4 camera features an advanced CMOS sensor with ultra high light sensitivity of 1,000 ASA and an HD resolution of 1,280x1,024 pixels (720p). It support max frame rates up to 200,000 frames per second.

Obviously, this is not some HD camera you can get at Best Buy and operate by yourself, but take a look at the gorgeous footage below and you'll wish you could.