Back in 2020, I got an unexpected email from Al Osborne, a physics Professor at the University of Torino and researcher at the Office of Naval Research in the US. I discovered that he is one the preeminent world experts on rogue waves, the 50-100 foot monsters that can arise even in moderate sea conditions and sink ships. Here's an excerpt from a BBC documentary on rogue waves. He turned out to be a fan of my work, years ago, on theta functions, as they produce soliton-type solutions of the non-linear Schrödinger equation which are a possible model for such waves. I was doubly fascinated because a) this was something that my student Emma Previato had worked out for her thesis (cf. her paper: Duke Math. J., 1985) and b) I have done a fair bit of ocean sailing and am most curious about such waves. And after struggling with the literature, it dawned on me that this also fits in with my work on the infinite dimensional manifold of simple closed plane curves and the idea of shape spaces. Let me explain.