From Susan Casey’s The wave:
Teahupoo, with its timeless power, brought to mind the age-old philosophical quest to distinguish between beauty and its twisted cousin, the sublime: for the merely pretty to graduate to the sublime, terror was required in the mix. “The Alps fill the mind with a kind of agreeable horror,” wrote one seventeenth-century thinker, summing up the concept. And while humans were capable of creating the lovely, the dramatic, the sad, or the inspiring, only nature could produce the sublime. It was a concept both comforting and disturbing: there are many things out there more powerful than we are. No one was more aware of this than the men who’d ridden Teahupoo on this day (except, perhaps, the ones who had fallen on it).