How strong are the sun and the moon's pull on the tides? A lot stronger than you may have ever believed. In what happened to be a perfect trifecta of cosmic events, this Friday's alignment allowed for a supermoon, a total solar eclipse, and perhaps one of the greatest ocean surges our generation has seen since the turn of the 21st century. In fact, in what happened to be a tourist's dream, the picturesque Mont Saint Michel Abbey on the coast of France was turned into a island for a brief while as the "tide of the century" submerged the path that leads to its fortified walls.

The abbey just off of France's North Atlantic coast is typically connected to the mainland by a small causeway, but when the tides came in this Saturday morning, Mar. 21, France's National Hydrographic Service said that more than 45 feet of water rushed in, submerged much of the city's lower walls. But while it may seem strange to the average viewer, the abbey was not left unprepared. In fact, while it may be named the "tide of the century", this rare phenomenon happens here once every 18 years. The abbey and the homes on the relatively small mound are fortified by walls that protect them from the surging of the tides. 

Tourists from most of central France drove in to catch a glimpse of the rare event, while locals braced themselves for the flooded the streets.

"It's been a long time since we've seen Mont Saint-Michel surrounded by the sea" visitor from central France, Wilfred James said. "I was born in this region and I never saw it like this."

But while some of the younger locals were excited to to see the event for the first time in their lives, an older generation was not too impressed as past events, such as the tide in 1997 was much more catastrophic when it rose. Though one local fisherman was swept away this morning in an accident after being caught in the fast-moving water in spite of authorities' warnings, this year's event was much milder than meets the eye.

"For the 'tide of the century', I am a bit disappointed" tourist in Saint-Malo down the coast, Jean-Bernard Delamarche says. "We came one year, we were staying at the Hotel Ibis and we could not get out of the hotel because the street was flooded. But it's true that it is impressive."