Briana majored in History & Gen. Studies at Georgia Military College, focusing on the Ancient World and Old Testament.
Bermuda Busted: History and Mystery
The Bermuda Triangle: Oceanography and History
The Bermuda Triangle, or the Devil's Triangle, is the area of the ocean between Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Florida. Strange occurrences and disappearances have plagued this area for centuries, going back to the voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492.
As Columbus sailed to the Bahamas in search of India, he passed through the triangle. He made note of strange, hovering lights above the water in his journal; Columbus went on to mention his compass readings because they moved dramatically as he entered the area.
Modern Day Mania
Fast forwarding to 1954, a man named Vincent Gaddis wrote an article for Argosy magazine, finally naming the area of the ocean that claimed so many lives. Gaddis called the zone the ‘Miami Triangle’.
Then, in seventy-four, Charles Berlitz capitalized on the notion of a special area in the ocean, not explored, that caused unexplained phenomena. He called it 'The Bermuda Triangle' and it was a best seller, even including the mythical city of Atlantis for added effect.
The world knew the story and the legend of the Bermuda Triangle was born; it caused more curiosity and speculation than ever before. Until about nineteen fifty, public awareness for the missing ships and those aboard went almost completely unnoticed (Science Kids).
What Strange Phenomena?
Unexplained occurrences in the Bermuda Triangle have been noted and filed since the mid-nineteenth century.
Ships have been found abandoned, and some of these vessels did not transmit distress signals. The ships were among a majority that were never accounted for, and none of the crew were ever heard from again after they sailed away.
What Causes This?
The famous Bermuda Triangle has been a hub of frequently occurring hurricanes and tropical storms. Passing through the Bermuda Triangle is the Gulf Stream, and it is a current that is very strong. This current causes sharp changes to the atmosphere and weather in the area.
The Milwaukee Depth, located in the Bermuda Triangle, is one of the deepest points of the Atlantic Ocean.The Milwaukee Depth includes the Puerto Rico Trench, which is 8,380 meters in depth (Bracken). There is no established basis in science for supernatural activity or alien occurrences; there is however, scientific evidence to explain the happenings going on in the Bermuda Triangle.
This evidence is logical and proven to be true, studied in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.
The area surrounding and within this triangle, is a highly trafficked route used by many ships, even the United States government. A government ship with a crew of over three hundred and nine left Barbados in 1918, they were never seen again. One has to keep in mind that a higher percentage of ships in one particular area, yields a higher percentage of wrecks. This is in opposition to the other parts of the ocean with less traffic. Boxall has also cited busy/maritime traffic in Bermuda could also be a key factor of its reputation.
The annual report from the Coastguard in 2016 showed that 82% of incidents involving any kind of marine traffic was caused by people who had no training or little experience. The numbers clearly speak of why there are so many occurrences of such incidences here (Rogers).
Scientists blame the environmental factors, as well as the geological activity, for the majority of the phenomena.
The environment beneath the water in the Bermuda Triangle is known for producing rogue waves that can reach up to one hundred feet high, and can destroy any ship placed in the vicinity.
NOAA goes on to say that there is an eruption of methane gas from the sediment in the ocean floor, and it disrupts the geomagnetic flux lines (Saplakoglu). Scientists hypothesize the crevices and craters below the water were created by methane gas explosions after the gas builds up.
There is data of an event happening off of the coast of Norway in which the methane explosions create huge, under water craters. Based on the evidence, the Bermuda Triangle mimics the Norwegian evidence.
This disruption would account for the compasses faulty readings. Also, most storms and hurricanes pass through this area, laying claim to numerous wrecks and missing people.
Combine all of that with the Gulf Stream, and one finds there is a cocktail of potential energy waiting to be expended. The Gulf Steam causes sporadic and violent changes to the atmosphere, which in turn affect the weather in that area. Methane gas evaporates into the atmosphere as well, fueling the unstable air to strengthen the tropical storms and hurricanes.
Dr. Simon Boxall has explained why the rogue waves are known to be one explanation. They occur in the region of Bermuda and they are more common on the Cape of Good Hope which is off South Africa’s tip. After the introduction of the satellite system, the myths and tales are far gone as now we are capable enough to measure the waves and they are about 30 m (100 feet) in measurement and they have been verified.
These rogue waves come and go quickly and at random paces, but they are always a part of the storm according to Boxall.
Do not confuse the rogue waves with the tsunami, as a tsunami is caused because of an earthquake. The rogue wave’s conditions are created by strong currents and deep water. Because of the satellite’s imagery introduction, the waves existence is no longer denied by the scientific community (Painter).
Shallow spots dot the area, as there are hundreds of sandbars and islands in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. These spots have caused many ships to wreck or become stuck on the piece of land, giving way to tales of ships that have been abandoned with their crews missing in action. In nineteen fifty five, a yatch was found, without one living soul on board or nearby. (Science Kids).
The floor of the sea is also unusual in this area, as the topography slopes down into deep trenches and crevices, many in which are the final resting place for hundreds of ships and their crews. Over the course of five hundred years, more than one thousand vessels have been lost in this area, and can never be reached because of the depths of the water.
Another interesting theory is the location of a sea within the triangle called the Sargasso Sea, it is completely surrounded by currents on every side. The properties relevant to this body of water have trapped many ships and led them to their demise.
Numerous, scientifically proven theories have officially debunked the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle; Weather, sandbars, magnetic energy, geothermal activity and rogue waves are some of the solid reasons why this area has gained so much attention since the days of Columbus and exploration.
People look for an explanation where they cannot find one, and like our ancient ancestors, we turn to myth or the supernatural to explain what we can not understand at the time. It is human nature to wonder and to attempt to gain knowledge that we do not possess, so it is no surprise the writings of a few men influenced the reputation of a small region in the Atlantic Ocean.
There is no strange force at work here, and there are no alien bases under the sea. There is only logical explanations and clear reasoning for the answers to the mystery. It is disheartening to know that one of the Earth's greatest mysteries has been solved, however, it is still fun to think about all the information lost to the deep in one of the creepiest places known to exist.
Saplakoglu, Yasemin. “The Bermuda Triangle: A Breeding Ground for Rogue Waves or a Pit of Human Mistakes?” LiveScience, Purch, 2 Aug. 2018, www.livescience.com/63242-bermuda-triangle-rogue-waves.html. Accessed 12 April. 2019.
Bracken, Haley. “What is known (and not known) about the Bermuda Triangle”, Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/story/what-is-known-and-not-known-about-the-bermuda-triangle . Accessed 12 April. 2019.
Rogers, James. “Bermuda Triangle is no mystery, ocean scientist explains”, Fox News. https://www.foxnews.com/science/bermuda-triangle-is-no-mystery-ocean-scientist-explains . Accessed 12 April. 2019.
Painter, Sally. “Causes for the Bermuda Triangle”, Love to Know. https://paranormal.lovetoknow.com/Causes_for_the_Bermuda_Triangle . Accessed 12 April. 2019.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Bri S