The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the Atlantic Ocean. How much area it covers is not very specific, but it’s thought somewhere between 1,300,000 to 3,900,000 km2 (500,000 to 1,510,000 sq. miles). If you look at it on a map you can imagine a triangle whose tips reach Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda. That doesn’t mean there is an exact line down each side of the triangle and after that nothing spooky can happen, but it’s more or less an estimate of the area. Since the middle half of the 20th century people have been saying something paranormal happens occasionally within this triangle, while others have said this is nothing but superstitious balderdash.

First of all, no one is making up a story that ships and planes go missing or are destroyed in this area. That’s not fake news or old wives’ tales, it’s just some people believe there is something other-worldly at work, and others just say the rotten luck of those that died was down to the whims of the weather or human error. This is also a very busy part of the ocean, and for the most part people travel safely through it. We’ll let you decide what happened.

You can go back to the time of Christopher Columbus as to when the mystery caught fire. In his case, he actually saw a fire in the sky when travelling through the triangle. He even said his compass readings started to act abnormally. Perhaps the first big modern disaster that is on record was the loss of twelve men who set off from the US on the US Navy PBM3S patrol seaplane. They went missing in the area and were never seen again. No wreckage, no sign of an accident, was ever found. Then just a few months later something even stranger happened. Five US bombers carrying 14 men departed from Florida and disappeared. A plane carrying 13 men went in search the same day, and guess what, they disappeared, too. No sign of the men or their planes was found. The US navy issued a report stating, it was “as if they had flown to Mars.” The 40s were a bad time for US planes and the Bermuda triangle, with the largest loss of life being 39 people in 1948 when their Douglas DST airliner went missing. Again, this was somewhat of a mystery being that the plane was never found. Now you are starting to get the picture as to why this part of the watery world has a devilish reputation.

It was worse of course at sea, and many tragedies occurred through the 19th century. Then on 4th March, 1918, the US saw its worst naval disaster that wasn’t related to fighting. That was when the USS Cyclops went down in the Bermuda Triangle, and yet again, the cause is unknown. 306 crew and passengers, as well as the ship, were never seen again. The strange thing is, the Cyclops had three sister ships, and they all sank, Two of them met their fate in the area we are talking about today, and again, they vanished without a trace.

So, not surprisingly, people began to wonder about the mystery of these disappearing ships, and this was in an era before fake news and interminable Reddit conspiracy theory threads. In 1964 a man called Vincent Gaddis coined the term “Bermuda Triangle” when he wrote a story about all the missing ships and aircraft. A decade later author Charles Berlitz wrote a book about this mysterious place and since then scores of writers have been penning works about the Bermuda Triangle involving aliens, monsters, underwater cities, and holes in time.

More disasters have happened after the ones we have talked about, but they are too numerous to mention. Even moving underwater is a dangerous game. In 1968 the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion went missing, as well as the 99 crew on board. While those who like to believe in the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle have written this is another paranormal disaster, others have impugned this theory stating it was outside of the area, and anyway, saying such a thing is insulting to the families of those that died. Still, it remains a mystery as to what actually happened. The wreckage was found, but people haven’t agreed about what went down. Many theorists blame the Soviets and state it was destroyed by them. The last Bermuda Triangle event we can find was in 2017 when three people, including the well-known event space entrepreneur Jennifer Blumin, succumbed to what the New York Times reported was likely bad weather. Debris of the plane was found in this case, but not the bodies.

So, what are the theories?

In 2017, the UK’s Independent wrote a piece with the headline, “Scientist ‘solves’ mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.” The scientist is called Karl Kruszelnicki, and he said the only things you can blame are human error and bad weather, rather than aliens or the Lost City of Atlantis. ““The number that go missing in the Bermuda Triangle is the same as anywhere in the world on a percentage basis,” he said.

Other British media wrote about the 75 planes and hundreds of ships that have gone down in the fateful area, and their conclusion was much the same: just bad bloody weather. On top of that they offered a hypothesis of Methane Hydrates, which are underwater gas explosions mostly due to drilling. These explosions release gas and reduce the density of the water. This could be a reason why so many ships sink.

Another new theory is that of hexagonal clouds. These clouds, measuring between 20 and 50 miles (32.1 km and 80.4 km) cause massive blasts of winds of up to 170 mph (273.5 kph). One scientist explained, “These types of hexagonal shapes in the ocean are in essence air bombs. They’re formed by what is called microbursts and they’re blasts of air.” So, they bring down planes and also cause huge waves. They seem to appear a lot over the area of the Bermuda triangle. There is also something known as electronic fog, which when it wraps around a ship causes all the electrical equipment to malfunction. Another theory is the unusual sea floor, that has massive crevices and craters and so affects the water above.

That’s what science says, anyway. Some other people believe in the more fantastic. One such theory is that The Lost City of Atlantis is down there and still with it are the energy crystals the city needed to have power. These crystals are so powerful they can drag ships down. In the book we mentioned earlier by Charles Berlitz, he writes about the possibility of the disappearances being “engineered by entities from inner or outer space.” The thing is, there is just nothing out there to back this theory up. It’s as credible as saying Mickey Mouse did it, or the ships were hit by a giant Toblerone.

Still, here at the Infographics Show we believe in healthy skepticism and always to remain curious, and there’s no doubt that this area of the world does seem to see a lot of mysterious events. We’ll now open this to you, so please tell us what you think in the comments. Does anything said seem possible? 





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