With significant disagreement regarding what goes on there -- and where it even is -- the Bermuda Triangle is highly amorphous. The generally accepted "points" of the Bermuda Triangle are located at Bermuda, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico. During the last century, the Bermuda Triangle gained a reputation as an area where many ships and planes vanished into thin air.
The Legend of the Bermuda Triangle
One of the first major incidents to add to the mystique of the Bermuda Triangle was the disappearance of USS Cyclops and her crew of 306 in March 1918. On December 5, 1945, a group of five US torpedo bombers, known as Flight 19, were flying through the Bermuda Triangle when they began reporting problems with their compasses. The planes were never seen or heard from again. In February 1963, the civilian tanker SS Marine Sulphur Queen sank in the Bermuda Triangle, but the wreckage was never found.
The Magnetic Field Theory
Some reports have claimed that the Bermuda Triangle is a place where Earth's magnetic field is somehow altered or in flux, causing magnetic compasses to point to the actual North Pole -- "true north" -- instead of magnetic north. This shift would cause considerable problems for navigators relying on a map and compass in charting their course. However, the Navy officially reports that fluctuations in Earth's magnetic field in the area known as the Bermuda Triangle have not taken place since the 19th century.
Scientists have found evidence around the world of gas erupting from deep in the ocean. Some people speculate that methane gas hydrates could be behind disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle -- causing ships to lose buoyancy and sink and even causing plane engines to stall or spark. However, methane hydrates exist elsewhere in even high concentration that that of the Bermuda Triangle. In 2012, the Discovery Channel show Curiosity looked into this potential explanation and found an eruption of methane bubbles could not sink a boat.
Most experts point out the weather-driving phenomenon known as the Gulf Stream passes through the Bermuda Triangle, and this strong ocean current has been known to cause both rapid and violent changes in weather. Experts also point out that strong currents in the area can significantly change ocean topography and open up new navigational hazards for ships. NASA astronomer Stephen Edberg points out that the matter of the Bermuda Triangle may be an artificial construct entirely, as statistics indicate that more aircraft disappear and are never found over the continental United States than the Bermuda Triangle.
- Photo Credit Jose wilson Araujo/Hemera/Getty Images
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