the bermuda triangle : the scientific truth behind the mystery

The mysterious disappearances of the Bermuda Triangle are the subject of theories each one more zany than the others. The disappearances are supposedly linked to the presence of an alleged crystal pyramid 200 meters high at the bottom of the sea, to the existence of extraterrestrials or even to Atlantis, the mythical island mentioned by Plato. To go in search of the truth we will unfortunately have to break the mythical aspect of the Bermuda Triangle in favor of a more scientific reality. 

The Bermuda Triangle is an unofficially recognized area of 500,000 km2 between Florida, Puerto Rico and the Bermuda archipelago. This place, nicknamed « the devil’s triangle », is sadly known for its numerous disappearances : about 4 planes and 20 boats every year. Since the disappearance of Aircraft Squadron 19 on 5th December 1945, the Bermuda Triangle has aroused the curiosity of all, fascinated by this mystery. In order to give explanations to these numerous cases, the last decades have seen the emergence of scientific theories based on scholarly evidence.

Hypothesis 1: Weather conditions

First, the cause may be due to weather conditions. Two studies, one conducted by NOAA and the other by Simon Boxale, professor at the University of Southampton, have highlighted the fact that this area is particularly prone to bad weather, which may help to understand the cause of the disappearances of ships and planes. Indeed, it is the epicenter of violent meteorological activities such as hurricanes, equatorial storms and microbursts from the Mexican coast. The worst thing is that these storms form huge waves of 30 meters high, rare but devastating. Called « rogue waves », they are quite capable of capsizing ships. 

Hypothesis 2: Oceanic flatulence

In addition, a theory has also been raised, that of « oceanic flatulence ». This refers to the presence of a large quantity of clathrate in the seabed, which would accumulate and form pockets of methane. If these pockets are violently released, they could saturate the water with gas bubbles in a fairly localized manner. If this phenomenon is intense, then a boat would no longer be able to float above the water, turning into a kind of foamy mass, and it would sink. Moreover, this gas can also saturate the air, and thus make the pilots lose consciousness or even ignite the engines of the machines. 

Hypothesis 3: Peat bogs

In parallel, another theory was born thanks to Tome Iliffe, professor of underwater biology, that of the « peat bogs”. He affirms that one of the topological characteristics of this environment is the presence of an underwater mountain of 4000 meters high, accompanied by abysses that can go up to 8000 meters deep. Their existence could cause the creation of « tunnels » with strong aspirations, creating deadly vortices. 

Hypothesis 4: Magnetic disturbances

On the other hand, an element specific to the area is the singularity of its magnetic characteristics. Indeed, it has a phenomenon quite rare on Earth: in this sector, true north and magnetic north are aligned. True north is a fixed point on the globe, whereas magnetic north is linked to the Earth’s magnetic field. Thus, because both are aligned, we regularly record magnetic disturbances that could alter the devices used by sailors and pilots to orient themselves.

Hypothesis 5: Human error

Finally, it can simply be based on human error. Knowing that 82% of the accidents in the area involved people with no training or experience in navigation, this could largely explain the large number of losses. 

Thanks to the research conducted to find the causes of these disappearances, we have been able to learn more about the topography of the seafloor and the geology in general. Nevertheless, the mystery remains and to date we have hypotheses but no facts. The theories and scientific hypotheses previously mentioned are highly plausible but not demonstrable. What is certain is that science pushes us to focus more on rational reasons than paranormal ones.

Manon Houset

Sources :

  • Le triangle des Bermudes, Charles Berlitz, 1974

Image : CC Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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