Have you ever heard of the Bermuda Triangle? It's one of the most mysterious areas on the Earth and has supposedly caused the downfall of thousands of sailors and pilots. For good reason, it is known as the "Devil's Triangle," and has gone down in history as one of the most dangerous places in the world.
There's a lot of mythology and controversy surrounding this large triangle, but many of the facts conflict and scientists have yet to determine anything absolute about the area. The U.S. Government has also not said anything conclusive and prefers to pretend as though the Bermuda Triangle simply doesn't exist.
Surprisingly, the Bermuda Triangle isn't often avoided by ships and planes. Many cruise ships sail through it without any problems at all. Because of its large area, the triangle is entirely unfeasible to just skip. In fact, you may have flown or sailed through it before and not even realized!
While the Bermuda Triangle certainly exists in theory, very few certain details are known about it. Even weirder, most ships and planes escape unscathed every year, meaning that these effects don't happen on every vessel. Here are the most mysterious or unusual facts about the Bermuda Triangle that, depending on who you talk to, may or may not be true!
20 20. Christopher Columbus First Discovered the Bermuda Triangle
Many people don't realize that on Christopher Columbus' way to discover America, he managed to somehow discover the Bermuda Triangle as well. Sure, he didn't name it (that title goes to Vincent Gaddis is 1964), but he did note that a great flame of fire appeared, which many scientists now think must have been a meteor.
He also wrote that his compass went a bit haywire, something that isn't strange based on what scientists know nowadays. Although Columbus usually gets the credit for discovering America, he rarely receives proper due for first seeing the strange events in the Bermuda Triangle.
19 19. The Bermuda Triangle Was Aptly Named for its Shape
This seems pretty obvious, but the geography of the Bermuda Triangle is actually pretty complex. It is generally a large area of water between Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico, and is named for both its shape and location. The surprising thing about this seemingly normally shaped triangle is that it can shift depending on the day. Many shipwrecks have occurred outside of the actual triangle, even when captains meant to avoid the area.
For whatever reason, the mysterious effects of the triangle can randomly extend to neighboring areas, something many captains and pilots probably didn't foresee. Most experts today can't understand why this (not) rigid triangle would shift with no changes in the weather or atmosphere.
18 18. Electronic Fog Exists in the Triangle
Sure, this "electronic fog" sounds vaguely mysterious and like it's out of a science fiction novel, but it is actually very real to many scientists. A grayish cloud will form above a ship or plane and start to accumulate as a bigger and bigger mass. It will completely surround the ship or plane and begin to move with it, causing each piece of electronic equipment to malfunction or shut down completely.
John Hutchison was actually able to demonstrate something similar in his lab is Canada, but scientists have yet to prove that this electronic fog absolutely exists and have pretty much no idea why it randomly begins forming.
17 17. The Bermuda Triangle was Featured in a Short Movie
Actually, the Bermuda Triangle has been a part of many shows and movies featuring some of the many mysterious occurrences that have happened in the area, but in 2016, Barbara Herron created a short movie that showcased a love story in the Bermuda Triangle. The general plot is that a strange girl appears floating on a raft in the Bermuda Triangle and is found by some submariners who must figure out where she came from and what to do with her.
If you're looking for a more realistic documentary, there's quite a few of those available on Netflix and Hulu that will explore the historical events that have happened in the triangle, but none of them have concrete evidence as to why the Bermuda Triangle is so mysterious.
16 16. Some Blame the Disappearances on Time Travel
While time travel most certainly hasn't been proven, it's one of the most widespread claims made about the Bermuda Triangle. Similar to the apparent electronic fog, a time warp is often theorized as the reason why so many planes and ships disappear.
Some pilots have reported that during an electronic fog, their planes traveled further away than would have been possible when they're able to check the time again. Some traveled far faster than planes are able to go, even with the help of the wind. They also reported electronic sparks that make time travel seem all the more mysterious. The pioneer of this idea was Bruce Gernon in 1970, who first documented flying further than he believed was possible.
15 15. The Gulf Stream Makes Any Debris Disappear
The Gulf Stream runs right through the Bermuda Triangle and could be a large contributing factor to a lot of the happenings in the area. Firstly, the Gulf Stream causes any debris to quickly move away from the area it actually landed in, so any plane or shipwreck parts will disappear so quickly that a search and rescue team won't be able to figure out what happened to the crew and the materials.
Additionally, the Gulf Stream can cause huge storms to spring up unexpectedly, which is less than helpful, since the Bermuda Triangle is already right in the path of Caribbean hurricanes.
14 14. The Bermuda Triangle is Right in a Hurricane Hotspot
Just last year, 6 major hurricanes blew directly through the Bermuda Triangle, a few of those with little to no warning. Even hurricanes that don't travel directly through the triangle can cause high winds and rogue waves to enter the Bermuda Triangle, effecting both ships and planes.
The Bermuda High, which is a high-pressure area just outside of Bermuda, will often turn hurricanes towards the triangle. Over 79 hurricanes have actually entered the Bermuda Triangle within the last 5 decades; over 25 of which have been major storms. If you're considering traveling through the Bermuda Triangle, avoid hurricane season at all costs!
13 13. The U.S. Forces had a Huge Loss in the Triangle in 1945
In 1945, the Bermuda Triangle first became really famous for apparently swallowing 14 U.S. Military crew members. Scientists say that the planes probably exploded in mid-air due to an accumulation of flammable gasoline vapors, but the strange thing is that the crew just seemed to disappear all-together.
Even stranger, the rescue crew also disappeared, and the U.S. lost another 13 men. It seems that both crews got lost due to electronic malfunctions, although others suspect that the radio waves were tampered with. This event was a turning point for the reputation of the Bermuda Triangle and it only got worse from there.
12 12. Compasses in the Triangle only point to True North
Weirdly enough, compasses in the Bermuda Triangle don't usually point to magnetic north, but to true north. Magnetic north isn't actually the North Pole (which is true north); it's actually about 1,500 miles away.
At first, scientists thought that the compass literally switched in the Bermuda Triangle, but they now realize that it is just a special place where magnetic north and true north line up for a brief few moments. However, even one degree of difference can cause a ship or a plane to end up miles away from where it should be. In such a volatile sea, or during a storm, this can be so problematic that it can even become deadly.
11 11. It Has a Really High Annual Consumption
One rather dramatic piece of evidence that believers of the Bermuda Triangle curse point to is the high rate of consumption yearly. Annually, about 20 ships (including yachts and cruise ships) and 4 planes go down each year in the triangle, although most of them end up being found.
The few odd disappearances (when the ships or planes that aren't found) are hyped up in the media, but are most likely never discovered due to the Gulf Stream or the fact that they disappear during huge storms when the ocean is moving quickly. Additionally, this high consumption rate is probably linked to the high amount of ships and planes that pass through the triangle.
10 10. Aliens Are Apparently Blamed for the Weird Occurrences in the Triangle
Christopher Columbus was the first documented person to claim that he saw aliens in the triangle, but the theory really took off after the disappearances of 1945. Other sailors have claimed to see the water spin and emit a strange light, a UFO land then disappear, and even aliens themselves appear and give the sailors direct instructions.
Once this theory was in the media, it grew quickly, and many different hypotheses were developed about why aliens seek out the Bermuda Triangle specifically, although the main idea is that aliens know that their presence won't be as recognizable and will probably be attributed to the harsh weather and swiftly moving seas.
9 9. The Methane Hydrate Theory is Backed by Some Scientists
The most scientifically plausible explanation for the strange events in the triangle is the Methane Hydrate Theory, although it isn't proven. Basically, scientists believe that eruptions of methane gas happen along the ocean floor, creating sinkholes that are large enough to sink massive ships.
This was first discovered when scientists realized that the triangle had an abnormal amount of craters in the ocean floor, which could have formed from these explosions. Other scientists say that this is nothing more than an interesting theory, since a Methane gas explosion has not been 100% proven to have occurred in the last 20,000 years.
8 8. Some People Believe the Bermuda Triangle is Actually Atlantis
There are probably hundreds of myths about Atlantis, but none of them have ever been proven. Some believe that Atlantis existed in or near the Bermuda Triangle and was swallowed up like so many ships and planes.
Just off the coast of Bimini, scuba divers have found structures that look like a city, particularly walls and streets, but others feel that these are just rock formations that happen to resemble man-made structures. Some also blame the city of Atlantis for causing the activity and disappearances in the triangle, although there isn't much evidence to support this theory in any way.
7 7. Pirates Plunder the Bermuda Triangle
If you've seen Pirates of the Caribbean, you probably know that the area just north of the Caribbean is a hot-spot for pirate activity. While this movie was fiction, a large amount of activity still occurs around this area today, much of which happens in the Bermuda Triangle.
Pirates may intentionally target any area within the triangle more than others because people expect ships to go missing, so they can get away with plunder much more easily. This doesn't explain the disappearance of airplanes, but many more ships are lost annually than aircraft vessels, so pirates may play a role.
6 6. Tons of Cruise Ships Go Through It
You might intend on avoiding the triangle forever, but if you've ever taken a cruise from the East Coast to the Caribbean, you've probably gone right through it without realizing. Virtually every cruise that comes down the East Coast passes through the Bermuda Triangle! Surprisingly, there aren't any documented cases of strange events happening to cruise ships other than pre-forecasted weather.
Sure, during hurricane season there can be some rough water, but no cruise passengers have ever reported time warps, mechanical fogs, or alien sightings, leading many to believe that none of these fantastical hypotheses hold any merit and exist just to create hysteria.
5 5. The U.S. Navy Doesn’t Recognize the Bermuda Triangle as a Real Place
Can you believe that the Bermuda Triangle doesn't actually have an official map? According to the U.S. Navy, it's not a real place, and is only noted for its high amount of traffic and turbulent weather. Actually, the U.S. Coast Guard goes out of the way to collect any evident that goes against tales of strange occurrences in order to refute the theories.
It can be surprising that the Coast Guard goes to such lengths to dispute any biases towards the area when the Coast Guard and Navy are routinely involved in search and rescue missions for the many ships and planes that go down yearly, but until science has any concrete proof about the activity in the area, the triangle will probably stay off official maps.
4 4. Some Researchers Think That the Facts About the Bermuda Triangle are Over Exaggerated
Because of the location of the triangle, there's a ton of traffic almost every day of the year that may contribute to the high consumption rate. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, if you look at the disappearances on a percentage basis, you'll note that it isn't vastly different from any other place in the world.
Many scientists say that it's simply the fact that a few odd disappearances happened and got blown out of control by the media. Even the Methane Hydrate Theory, which is actually backed by some acclaimed researchers, isn't very popular among the scientific community for many reasons.
3 3. Rogue Waves Occur Frequently
Some claim that rogue waves occur more frequently in the Bermuda Triangle, which may be the cause of so many disappearances, at least where ships are concerned. Mr Kruszelnicki, speaking about Flight 19, reported that the average waves that day were 49 feet (15 meters) and the sea was alternating between being completely flat and "throwing mountains around."
However, many of these rogue waves are probably due to the large amount of storms and hurricanes that occur in the triangle. This may be a good explanation, but it doesn't make the water any safer for ships (especially smaller vessels) during a turbulent time.
2 2. The Bermuda Triangle may be one of the 12 Vile Vortexes
There are "12 Vile Vortexes" around the world, noted for their strange patterns and unusual number of disappearances over the years. Some scientists believe that this is due to an influx of energy while others attribute the vortexes to plain science fiction.
The Bermuda Triangle is one of the most famous vortexes, but other large areas occur off the coasts of Japan, Hawaii, Pakistan, and Timbuktu. The most famous ones are thought to be near the North and South Poles, reinforcing many scientists' idea that an accumulation of magnetic energy is responsible for the problems that occur inside the vortexes.
1 1. Psychologists Think that the Triangle is Simply a Phenomenon Called Confirmation Bias
One of the most plausible theories that psychologists suggest for why people believe the Bermuda Triangle is dangerous is just simple confirmation bias. It's often quoted that saying a lot of ships and planes go down in the Bermuda Triangle is like saying a lot of car accidents happen on a busy highway. With more traffic, you get more accidents, and statistically speaking this isn't surprising.
Some psychologists feel that there is absolutely nothing different about the Bermuda Triangle except the mystery surrounding it, and when a ship or plane does go down, people automatically expect it to be due to something mysterious.