Rogue waves are giant nonlinear waves that suddenly appear and disappear in oceans and optics. We discuss the facts and fictions related to their strange nature, dynamic generation, ingrained instability, and potential applications. We present rogue wave solutions to the standard nonlinear Schrödinger equation that models many propagation phenomena in nonlinear optics. We propose the method of mode pruning for suppressing the modulation instability of rogue waves. We demonstrate how to produce stable Talbot carpets –-- recurrent images of light and plasma waves –-- by rogue waves, for possible use in nanolithography. We point to instances when rogue waves appear as numerical artefacts, due to an inadequate numerical treatment of modulation instability and homoclinic chaos of rogue waves. Finally, we display how statistical analysis based on different numerical procedures can lead to misleading conclusions on the nature of rogue waves.