The infamous Bermuda Triangle or so called ‘Devil’s Triangle’ is a loosely defined region in the western part of North Atlantic Ocean. It roughly forms a mythical triangle stretching over 400,000 square miles (700,000 square kilometers) between Florida, the Bermuda Islands, and Puerto Rico.
So, what makes this particular area so mysterious?! It has over time consumed ships and planes, occasionally leaving no trace behind. These occurrences have led to a yearning and curiosity amongst the scientists and the people to dive deeper for the truth.
The first occurrence can be traced back to 1918, when a 542-foot-long ship named the USS CYCLOPS, went missing. The US NAVY vessel was on its way from Bahia, Salvador, to Baltimore, Maryland, when it disappeared leaving no trace behind, owing to the single largest loss of life to the US navy involving no direct combat.
This drew attention towards accidents in the region. As early as, 1952 George X. Sands published an article, “Sea mystery at our back door” in Fate Magazine. But it was Vincent H. Gaddis who first coined the term ‘Bermuda Triangle’ in his article for the Argosy Magazine. This was followed by the proposition of various theories and counter theories to explain the mishaps. Larry Kusche, a librarian at Arizona State University, published his book “The Bermuda Triangle Mystery-Solved.” He claims the whole situation was a manufactured mystery!
On the other hand, meteorologists have claimed scientific reasonings behind these catastrophes. Here are some of the rationale scientific answers:
The continental shelf off the coast of Florida extends only a short distance, after which it swiftly plunges to a deep ocean basin. Beyond the relatively flat ocean basin, lies the Bermuda Rise. The Bermuda Islands, east of North America, are positioned on the rise, which is also a volcanic platform, or a seamount. Home to some of the deepest trenches of the Atlantic Ocean, the Bermuda Triangle’s topography, is considered to play a role in the vanishing of vessels.
The Gulf Stream:
Said to be the ‘river within an ocean,’ the Gulf stream is a maximum velocity surface current driven by thermohaline circulation. It originates in the Gulf of Mexico and flows into the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a swift and turbulent current creating some of the most unforgiving storms in the region.
These ‘air bombs’ are mischievous straight edged clouds, trapping winds at speeds of 100 mph. These micro blasts can generate vertical monster waves, as high as 45 feet, accompanied by gushing winds, the vertical waves form air pockets which can snap many vessels in half.
Did you know? The Bermuda Triangle is one of the only two places on Earth, where the compass points to true North rather to the magnetic North. This means the infamous Bermuda Triangle is a strange magnetic area. While the divergence of the compass can be rectified with technological advances, if it’s not addressed, it can leave the sailors lost in the open seas.
The most recent theories blame the ‘rogue waves,’ which escalate to a height of 100 ft. Resulting from the union of three massive storms in this zone, these waves are beyond the expectations of the latest designed ships. Formerly pronounced as mythical, due to the lack of evidence, the discovery of these waves, points towards a new actor in the disappearing episodes.
Methane Gas Hydrates:
decaying sea organisms, lead to the concentration of large reserves of untapped methane gas. The sea bed is home to bacteria, which produces methane gas. And accumulation and the concentrated methane leads to the formation of gas hydrates. This process of gas hydrate formation can create large holes in the surface, following an unannounced explosion. These ‘sinkholes’ are capable of swallowing vessels, by creating different densities within the blowout area.
While the scientific rebuttals do place new means to the mystery solving, there are additional elementary understandings that cannot be ignored.
The Bermuda Triangle is one of the most trafficked shipping lanes in the world, directly proportional to the number of accidents reported.
Many of the ill-fated ships and planes have also been reported to be under-designed for the weather conditions of the triangle.
The myth busters are further assured by the marine insurer Lloyd’s of London: They have declared the Triangle to be no more dangerous than any other spread of the ocean. The US Coast Guard, affirms their conclusion, evaporating the myths of the ‘Devil’s Triangle.’