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The Bermuda Triangle has long been shrouded in mystery and intrigue as records of strange occurrences in the area famously go back to Christopher Columbus. Many planes and ships have disappeared in the imaginary triangle which is outlined by Miami, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. The legend of the triangle originates with Flight 19, a routine training mission undertaken by 5 Navy airplanes in 1945. The planes and all passengers disappeared after the pilots experienced compass malfunctions. Since then, crashes and disappearances have continued to occur in the area, creating the mythos which surrounds it. Theories about the Bermuda Triangle, both scientific and paranormal, have been the source of many debates over the years. In order to evaluate the probability of some of these theories, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the depth of the evidence. This means looking at the details, breadth of content, and the reliability of the source. Additionally, the logic of the theory is crucial when determining whether it may be ruled out or in. A well-developed theory is accompanied by facts and science which support it. Of the existing theories on the Bermuda Triangle, several can be qualified as the most likely to be true. According to a wide range of theories, the Bermuda Triangle disappearances could be caused by airbursts, methane gas bubbles, or deadly rogue waves. Alternatively, many scientists believe that there is no mystery at all.
To begin, one theory supposedly explaining the Bermuda Triangle attributes the deadly conditions to airbursts in the area. These “air bombs,” which are seen on meteorology maps as hexagonal shapes, are strong enough to sink ships or bring down planes and can do a great amount of damage on land. Many news outlets reported that microbursts are the long-awaited answer to the Bermuda Triangle mystery. This information was released on a Science Channel program featuring Randall Cerveny, the director of the meteorology department at Arizona State University. The program suggests the Cerveny has solved the mystery as he evaluates airbursts. This may initially seem like a probable cause for all the crashes that have occurred within the triangle; however, Cerveny himself disputes the theory. He claims that the editing of the Science Channel segment took his information completely out of context. He said, “I did not know what was going on until I saw this. I have no interest in studying the Bermuda Triangle.” So while air bombs may have cause some of the destruction in the triangle, the scientific data which this theory is based on was taken completely out of context. Cerveny, who this theory is attributed to, doesn’t even believe it is solely responsible.
Another theory that may explain the mysterious activity of the Bermuda Triangle is the “bubble theory.” This theory suggests that the release of methane gas from the seafloor of the Bermuda Triangle to the ocean’s surface causes ships to sink. The most significant research supporting this theory was led by Alan Judd in the North Sea’s Witch Ground. Judd led a team of researchers in search of a sunken ship that had been drawn into a deep depression in the seafloor. They determined that “a plume of methane gas bubbles rising under a boat would make the water around the boat less dense by turning it to foam. The boat would no longer be able to displace enough water to stay afloat and would drop like a stone.” The theory proposed by Judd suggests that the same phenomenon is occurring in the Bermuda Triangle. While geological surveys show the presence of methane gas on the seafloor of the Bermuda Triangle, research geologist Bill Dillon argues that the gas has been trapped for 15,000 years. This means that the methane has been trapped in the earth’s crust for longer than humans have been building ships. The other flaw in this theory is that it does not acknowledge the many planes which have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. Methane gas bubbles may have the power to sink ships, but there is no way they could take planes down from the sky.
A third theory developed by scientists suggests that rogue waves are to blame. On the BBC 5 program The Bermuda Triangle Enigma, oceanographer Sim Boxall claims that storms from North and South come together in the Bermuda Triangle. Along with additional storms from Florida, this could create “a potentially deadly formation of rogue waves.” Boxall says that these waves could be as large as the tallest wave ever recorded, a 100-foot tsunami. “Using an indoor simulator, scientists discovered that a model of the USS Cyclops ― a ship that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1918 with 306 people aboard ― was swamped by a wave and sank.” The disappearance of the Cyclops can be partially attributed to a flaw in the ship’s design. Ships of similar design have also sunk due to the flat bottoms of the ship which makes it easier for waves to flip them over. Aside from the indoor simulator used to analyze the USS Cyclops, there does not appear to be very much evidence supporting this claim. Waves of this size in the Bermuda Triangle have not been directly recorded and the research done evaluates only one type of ship. Like the “bubble theory,” rogue waves would only be able to explain the disappearance of ships and not airplanes. While this theory has not been disproven, there does not seem to be enough research or data to support it and it lacks a full explanation for the occurrences in the triangle.
Despite the many theories which have been proposed over the years, one of the most prominent and accepted theories is that there is no mystery at all. According to scientist Karl Kruszelnicki, the Bermuda Triangle mystery can be explained by “human error plus bad weather and the fact that lots of planes and ships enter that area of the Atlantic Ocean in the first place.” Kruszelnicki says that because the triangle is close to the Equator and wealthy America there is a lot of “traffic.” When you look at the disappearances as a percentage of all the travel in the area, it is reportedly the same as everywhere else in the world. Kruszelnicki also has an explanation for the infamous Flight 19. He says the human error of the mission’s leader may be partially to blame for the tragedy and that the conditions were far from perfect. Kruszelnicki isn’t the only one who believes that there is no mystery. Both the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Ocean Service have released official statements dismissing the mystery. The Coast Guard stated “In a review of many aircraft and vessel losses in the area over the years, there has been nothing discovered that would indicate that casualties were the result of anything other than physical causes. No extraordinary factors have ever been identified.” The National Ocean Service has added that “The ocean has always been a mysterious place to humans. When foul weather or poor navigation is involved, it can be a very deadly place. This is true all over the world.” The suggestion that there is no Bermuda Triangle mystery at all certainly adds up considering the evidence which supports it. Many reputable and established scientists and organizations agree that the imaginary triangle does not seem to show anything particularly out of the ordinary. This is the only theory which fully explains the events which have occurred in the area with complete depth.
Upon evaluating these four theories, one seems to make the most sense both logically and scientifically. Perhaps airbursts, methane bubbles, or rogue waves are not to blame for the disappearances in the triangle. It appears that there is no mystery to the Bermuda Triangle at all. While it is possible that there have been some unusual factors at play in the disappearance of ships and planes in the area, overall the mystery has been exaggerated into the myth which has been embedded into our culture. The evidence supporting this theory has adequate depth, reliability, and logic. From Christopher Columbus to Flight 19, the Bermuda Triangle has always fascinated us as we attempt to find meaning in the tragic and mysterious occurrences of the ocean. Accepting that we may never uncover the secrets of this legendary myth may be difficult and there are always new theories coming out of the woodworks. That is not to say that this evaluation may be disproven in the future, but at this point in time it is the most probable answer.
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