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It’s the stuff of folklore and fascination: a mysterious patch of ocean notorious for swallowing planes and ships without a trace.
But for all its allure, what do you really know about the Bermuda Triangle? Chances are, not much, but that’s all about to change.
Grab your GravolTM Bullet readers, it’s time to dive in.
LEGEND HAS IT…
The enigma of the Bermuda Triangle (a.k.a. the Devil’s Triangle) dates back to Christopher Columbus, however, the area didn’t rise to infamy until the 1950s.
Since then, theories ranging from the paranormal (i.e. alien kidnappings and underwater civilizations) to the supernatural (i.e. time warps and ulterior dimensions) have captured the public’s imagination, making the Bermuda Triangle one of the most feared and fascinating places on earth.
WHERE IN THE WORLD?
Ever tried to locate the Bermuda Triangle on a map? If you have, chances are you failed, since this imaginary slice of ocean isn’t recorded on any official document — and for good reason.
The U.S. National Ocean Service says, “there is no evidence that mysterious disappearances occur with any greater frequency in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-travelled area of the ocean” and that referencing it on a map might legitimize unfounded theories.
But just because it’s not included in your atlas, doesn’t mean we don’t know where it is.
The Bermuda Triangle is generally defined by an invisible boundary connecting the southern tip of Florida with the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico. Its overall size depends on who you talk to, with estimates ranging from 1.3 million to 3.9 million square kilometres.
SCIENCE VS. SCIENCE FICTION
So, if supernatural forces aren’t at work in the Bermuda Triangle, then what’s to account for all the strange (and spooky AF) disasters-at-sea?
According to ocean experts, environmental and geophysical factors are most likely to blame, especially since the majority of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes pass through the vicinity of the Bermuda Triangle.
Another potential factor? The Gulf Stream: an intense and warm ocean current that flows eastward across the Atlantic and is known for causing rapid and often fierce changes in the weather.
Researchers have also floated (pun intended) the possibility that methane gas explosions (read: ocean flatulence) could be responsible for sinking ships in the Bermuda Triangle, but the theory has never been proven. In fact, it’s actually been debunked in some scientific circles.
Whether or not supernatural theories of the Bermuda Triangle actually hold water, the fact remains that more than 100 vessels have inexplicably vanished in the area throughout history.
These are just some of those unsolved cases (check herefor a longer list):
• USS Cyclops
On Mar. 4, 1918, the USS Cyclops, a Navy cargo ship carrying 10,000 tons of manganese and more than 300 passengers, sank while en route from Barbados to Baltimore. The Cyclops never sent a distress signal and no wreckage of it was ever found.
• Flight 19
On Dec. 5, 1945, five torpedo bombers carrying 14 crewmembers departed from south Florida on a training run. The mission leader became disoriented when his compass began malfunctioning leading the entire crew to become lost and eventually ditch at sea. That same day, a rescue plane carrying 13 crew also vanished; nothing was ever recovered. The Navy said it was “as if they had flown to Mars.”
• Star Tiger and Star Ariel
On Jan. 30, 1948, British South American Airways-Owned Star Tiger disappeared with 31 people on board in the vicinity of the Bermuda Triangle. Less than one year later, Star Ariel, carrying 20 passengers, vanished without explanation in the same region.
• Flight 441
On Oct. 30, 1954, this U.S. Navy carrier disappeared 400 miles from the coast with 42 people on board. It had been in regular communication, but then disappeared from radar. No evidence was ever recovered.
On Dec. 22, 1967, a 23-foot yacht named “Witchcraft,” owned by hotelier Dan Burack, went missing off the Miami coast. Equipped with a special floatation device, the boat was considered “unsinkable,” but when rescuers arrived 19 minutes after receiving an assistance call from someone on board, there was no trace of the ship anywhere.
YIKES, SO OBVIOUSLY BOATS AND PLANES AVOID THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE, RIGHT?
You’d think so, but nope.
Ships (including cruise lines) and airplanes cross the region regularly to access ports in the Caribbean, Europe and the Americas, making the Bermuda Triangle one of the most heavily travelled ocean lanes anywhere in the world.