(6:45 p.m. EDT) -- Scary scenes of chaos, captured onboard a cruise ship that hit huge waves some 400 miles north of New Zealand, became an Internet phenomenon Wednesday as video footage exploded all over the Web. The dramatic video, which featured recordings from at least three security cameras onboard P&O Australia's Pacific Sun, was featured this week on countless newspaper Web sites and passed along via Facebook and Twitter.
But here's what's odd about this week's phenomenon: The raucous, weather-crazed cruise occurred in July 2008, more than two years ago. The original video was posted on You Tube by a crewmember eons ago. Cruise Critic even wrote about the hazardous weather at that time -- in a news item dated July 31, 2008.
So why is Pacific Sun's dramatic weather story making headlines now?
Credit viral marketing. This week's explosion of interest appears to come from the privately owned, "citizen journalism" video-sharing website LiveLeak, which picked up the video a couple of days ago. Since being placed on the site on September 6, the video has accumulated some 550,000 viewings. With the Telegraph and the Daily Mail picking it up, as well as widespread Facebook and Twitter mentions, the cruise footage will likely continue to accumulate hits and grow in popularity.
And if your appetite's whetted for more footage of weather-impacted cruises, here are some more videos for you to check out.
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor
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