Bermuda Triangle Theories or Hypothesis?
So how did the planes and ships disappear? What went wrong? Actually there is no single theory that can explain all disappearances. The planes and ships were victims to different circumstances while crossing over the triangle area at different points of time.
If you go through the various incidents that took place in the triangle
and dig deep into the facts and records (refer to Larry Kushe's book 'The Bermuda Triangle Mystery - Solved
' first published in 1975), you will know that most of these happened due to either human error, equipment failure, or violent weather conditions.
In many cases, the incidents were reported wrongly by the authors of articles and books, and stated to have taken place in calm sea or ideal conditions, whereas research on the meteorological reports of the day indicated the opposite.
However, due to lack of enough information, causes for several incidents remained unexplained and had become a subject of speculations and even imaginations of various novelists and 'experts'. So those who believed in the mystery of Bermuda Triangle, came up with a number of hypothetical theories... some on amazing activities of nature, some scientifically oriented and others paranormal. But nobody could prove with any evidence that such theories were actually the cause of any incident.
Below are the popular hypothetical theories offered by the believers of the mystery.
Large amount of methane gas is known to exist below the ocean floor trapped in the sediments in form of methane hydrates. If such gas finds its way out and starts rising through the water, it can significantly reduce the density of water in that area and ships passing over the area can easily sink.
Although this might be theoretically possible, there is no evidence that it ever took place in Bermuda Triangle ocean area. In fact, according to USGS (United States Geological Survey), although Methane Hydrates exist below the ocean floor in the Black Ridge area off the south-eastern US coast, no large release of Methane gas ever took place in Bermuda Triangle in the past 15,000 years.
The Sargasso Sea
Sargasso sea is a strange area within Bermuda Triangle that has no shores but bounded by ocean currents on all sides. The wind is so calm here that many sailing boats and ships in the earlier days became motionless while passing through this area and later found in derelict conditions without a soul on them. Existence of vast stretch of thick seaweed on the water surface was another reason why the ships found it hard to sail through. It is another matter that in modern days any ship can steam through this area and no incident has been recorded here in the recent or even not so recent past.
Read the article on Sargasso Sea
to get insights into what actually happens here.
Hexagonal Clouds and Air Bombs
Scientists have noticed formation of strange hexagonal shaped clouds with straight edges on Bermuda Triangle. This is a strange and rare phenomena. Meteorologists confirm from other such formations of cloud at North Sea and evidences shown by satellite images that they are like air bombs. The air bombs can blast and send out winds to the ocean beneath at speeds of up to 170 miles per hour which can be dangerous for aircraft or ships passing through it.
Additionally such air bomb explosion can create gigantic waves as high as 45-foot and ocean surface wind of about 100 miles per hour which too can be extremely dangerous.
It has been heard several times that ships and aircraft get engulfed in some kind of electronic fog and the fog keeps moving along with the ship or the plane. And eventually, all the electronic equipment and other instruments start malfunctioning. Then the ships and airplanes either disintegrate or disappear without a trace. Vancouver based scientist John Hutchison through his experiments has shown occurrence of Electronic Fog that causes some strange phenomena.
Treacherous Underwater Reefs
The Bermuda Island, also known as the 'Isle of the devils', forms one corner of the triangle and is located about 650 miles off the east coast of the US. It is a well known fact that the island is almost completely ringed by numerous shipwrecks that lie at the ocean floor near its shores. In fact there are more than 300 ships that wrecked within 200 square miles of water area surrounding Bermuda.
So why the ocean floor here has become a ships' graveyard? The answer is known... there are numerous underwater reefs surrounding Bermuda that rise from the bottom of the sea and remain dangerously hidden under the water surface. In the earlier days, the captains of the ships had to rely solely on compass and navigational charts (and some times on the position of the stars) to navigate through the sea to reach their destinations. And unknowingly when the ships passed over such hidden reefs, often the hulls of the ships were torn apart by treacherous reefs, sinking them in no time.
With advancement of technology and use of satellite and modern GPS systems, these reefs can now be easily spotted and avoided. Many of such wrecks today are famous sites for scuba diving.
Read Shipwrecks around Bermuda
to know about some of the well known ships that wrecked in Bermuda's waters and what caused their ill fate.
Whirlpools and Blue Holes
A strange phenomenon has been noticed in Bahamas which is located at the western corner of Bermuda Triangle and about 50 miles off the coast of Florida. There are whirlpools here with very strong tidal currents flowing in and out of them. Any ships passing over them can easily get sucked in and into the endless depths here.
In fact such phenomena has been known to the natives here since ages and an ancient belief says there is an underwater monster that breathes in and out. During inhalation it can suck in human beings easily or even ships. However the real facts have now been known.
There are actually many Blue Holes in Bahamas water area... these are large underwater caves or cavities which have been formed through geological transformations. These bottle shaped caves that have their openings near the water surface can have depths of 100s of feet. The largest such Blue Hole in Bahamas (and second deepest in the world) is Dean's Blue Hole. It has a depth of 663ft.
Divers have discovered that deep below in the Blue Holes, there are many lateral tunnels that have originated from the walls of the blue hole (i.e. from walls of the main underwater cave) and they run for miles in different directions. Water flows in and out of these lateral tunnels during tide change and that actually causes the tidal currents on the ocean surface and the whirlpools. And these whirlpools can be dangerous for ships passing over them or even near their edge.
The Gulf Stream is an ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, and then moves through the Straits of Florida, into the North Atlantic and passes through Bermuda Triangle area. It is like a river with warm water within an ocean and can easily carry floating objects down its flow. A small plane making a water landing on the Gulf Stream or a boat having engine trouble can be carried away.
Some even speculated that the Cabin Cruiser Witchcraft
was swept away by the Gulf Steam on December 22, 1967, when it reported engine trouble near the Miami buoy marker one mile from shore, but was not there when a Coast Guard cutter arrived.
It is well known that a compass always points to the magnetic north pole and not to the geographic north pole (the two poles have a distance of 1,500 miles between them). So as a matter of common practice, ships or planes making use of a compass, needed to make adjustment for this difference to keep to the right direction. But in Bermuda Triangle, there is a narrow strip where both these North's become the same.
Some claim that such Compass Variation could have been the cause for fatal accidents as ships failed to determine the correct direction. There are actually few places on earth's surface, where both these poles fall in a straight line and the compass then points to the geographic north which also happens to be on the same line as the magnetic north.
Strange Weather and Hurricanes
At times there are violent storms in the Bermuda Triangle area. These short but intense storms can build up quickly and go away so fast that even a satellite can't detect them properly. But these storms are strong enough to destroy ships or planes completely. There could also be waterspouts. A strong waterspout is like a tornado at sea that sucks water from the ocean hundreds of feet into the sky.
Hurricanes are extremely powerful swirling storms that sometimes appear in the Atlantic near the equator. They usually originate from south eastern Atlantic and pass through the Bermuda Triangle area towards the south eastern coast of the US. June to November is the time when possibility of such hurricane occurring is the most.
Such hurricanes have historically been the cause for loss of many lives and extensive damage. The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla's Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of such destructive hurricane. Hurricanes have in the past caused a number of fatal damages to the sailing vessels passing through the area.
According to oceanographer Simon Boxall, rogue or freak waves are like huge walls of water that can form when storms from different directions come together on an ocean area. Individual waves from different directions can combine to form a huge freak wave which can be as high as 30-meters and capable of sinking a large ship very quickly.
Boxall mentioned that the tip of South Africa is prone to such rogue waves and even Bermuda Triangle can have storms coming in from Gulf of Mexico, Equator and further east of Atlantic to form a rogue wave. One such rogue wave caused the Ocean Ranger, then world's largest offshore platform that was semi-submersible, to capsize on February 15, 1982. But that was in Canadian waters.
Although such rogue or freak waves are very rare, in some areas ocean currents indicate that they happen more often than normal. However, there is no evidence that such rogue waves had caused any damages to ships in Bermuda triangle.
Magnetic Disturbances and Anomalies
It has been noticed that there can be local variations in earth's magnetic field at some places which can also cause a compass to malfunction and the compass then won't point correctly to the magnetic north pole. There are hypothesized theories that such compass malfunctions would have caused disasters to ships and planes in Bermuda Triangle.
The fact is, there are no anomalies or disturbances in Bermuda Triangle, and that has been confirmed by both scientists and even US Navy who once conducted tests in the area.
The seafloor in Bermuda Triangle area is also found to be quite strange. The technology of Sonar Mapping (using sound waves) has been used by the scientists to understand the depth of the seafloor at various places in the triangle. Some unusual formations have been found. At various places from a gentle slope the seafloor takes a sudden drop to a huge depth. In fact, some of the deepest trenches in the world are found in this area. Ships or planes that sink into these deep trenches will probably never be found as they are virtually inaccessible.
One such area is at Bahamas which is located at the western corner of the triangle. It has been found that at some specific water areas here, the seafloor suddenly dips to an enormous depth of 15,000ft.
Scientists also speculate that there can be large deep ocean craters on the sea floor of Bermuda Triangle. This can be caused by large amount of oil leaks or explosion of Methane gas that were trapped at different layers below the sea floor. Such giant craters (about half a mile wide and 150ft deep) have already been discovered at Barent Sea off the coast of Norway in March 2016.
Similar such deep ocean craters are likely to exist in Bermuda Triangle as well because the sea floor in the area is known to contain large amount of Methane gas. If a ship is wrecked due to Methane blow out or any other reason and drops into the crater, it can easily disappear without leaving any trace.
Believers in Paranormal had also tried to explain several incidents based on some supernatural theories like the lost city of Atlantis, UFOs and Aliens. Check out Supernatural Theories
to know about such explanations for the disappearances.
Pirates capturing ships, explosive cargo destroying vessels etc are also believed to be other causes. Another possibility is underwater earthquakes. Scientists have actually observed a great deal of seismic vibrations taking place in the Bermuda triangle area and under the seafloor. But there is no evidence yet on what that has to do with any incident that took place in the triangle.
There are skeptics and critics who do not believe that Bermuda Triangle area has any mystery to be solved at all. They say there is nothing unusual about all these disappearances... it's nothing different from any other ocean area where such incidents also take place in similar numbers, and most can be explained with human errors, equipment failure or inclement weather conditions.
Check out the Skeptics Theory
to find out what the skeptics of Bermuda Triangle have to say.
By Raj Bhattacharya
Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures.
Know of a triangle theory?
NOTE: I manually evaluate all posts and include only the ones that are original (not copy pasted from other sources) and having some serious matter. Unless the post adds further value to this article, I do not include them.
Alessio Ventura (January 2019)
I work for a large wireless service provider. My particular job is Tier3 support of our LTE network (and our 5G network trials). A few years ago we encountered a phenomenon where many thousands of cell users would continuously drop voice calls and data bearers would continuously drop and re-attach. After an hour of a massive influx of trouble tickets, we discovered that there was a huge 'Radio Frequency Cloud' moving up from Mexico and South America into the Southeastern USA. This was apparently causing the issue. How do these 'RF Clouds' form and move as an entity?
Bruce M. (January 2019)
This subject of missing ships and aircraft really make you think, and I know that my first time through was eerie as heck. The strangest thing I ever came upon out there and followed it for 3 days until the Coast Guard could get there was a sail boat with its masts strung and when the Coast Guard arrived there was no one on board. We took it sort of jokingly but I know everyone felt a bit strange during that trip and the return back through.
I was stationed onboard a US Naval vessel at the time of my multiple journeys through the triangle and the first couple times made you feel like, "what if something happens" but after that it was just another trip through the area for us, and I spent a lot of time there over a couple years.
I do know the currents there can get bad, and there are a lot of very shoal areas, one I believe was called the devils tongue, where there is a huge sand bar that goes out for miles that you could actually walk on that is under the water. Also I have seen tons of very large sharks, one that had to be near 30' or longer, I have seen Man-of-war floating out there that were the size of a mid size car. I can't explain air craft downing but I do believe a ship could easily be lost at sea in these areas especially back before GPS it would be easy to end up on a shoal, and for like sail boats with the deep keel it could easily tip over and be lost.
What ever it is it is strange. As for aircraft, most before GPS navigation would have to fly by sight, and one thing that is very common in the triangle and areas around there are bioluminescence. I wonder if in fog or storm, these aircraft may have seen it hitting the edges of these underwater shoals and lighting up making them believe they were at a different spot than they thought they were.
Of all the different theories I have seen on the triangle I can say this, I have never seen anything outside of that one sail boat that was creepy. I know they have a lot of fog in the area, they have a lot of weird currents, they have freak waves, and yes I have seen some HUGE waves out there out of no where, we are talking over 50 foot waves.
There is a lot of potential electrical problems with the electrical storms which from the surface of the ocean at least, are amazing and beautiful at the same time, and then you have the amazing sea life in abundance with the warm waters. So what the mystery is who knows, but I do believe what is natural phenomena in the area is the cause of these disappearances.
Ian (November 2018)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has shown that only 5% of the ocean has been discovered leaving 95% unexplored. Many deep ocean trenches are found all over the sea including devil's triangle. Since sonar mapping was invented many ships have detected that much of the Bermuda triangles ocean floor uneven. When entering the area much of the border of the triangle is surrounded with reefs that reach the surface. If a ship was to hit one of these reefs it could cause the ship to sink in the deep ocean trenches. Along with the reefs planes could have their engine fail from methane gas also causing it to fall in the trenches. Since these trenches are so deep many haven't been explored meaning that it is possible that these ships and planes did crash without being recovered due to the unexplored trenches.
S.C. Denton (September 2018)
I believe I have discovered what is causing the issues related to the Bermuda Triangle, and Dragon's Triangle? It's the MAGNETIC STRIPES ALIGNMENT PROCESS of the Sea Floor Spreading. It's causing the planes instrumentation to fail as there is a sudden outburst of (unusual) anomalous magnetic field being projected beyond the sea surface when the cooling happens and the magnetic alignment locks into its final position.
We have been told time and again that there is nothing going on there, and yet, so much has happened in regards to planes and ships going missing unexpectedly, even on the calmest of days on the ocean, that it has been a mystery for decades and decades.
On Wikipedia, they cite as evidence the fact that even Loyds of London doesn't require an insurance premium for ships and planes planning to travel here. Okay, fine, sure that's understandable. Except the part where they state that no more ships or planes are going missing there than in other parts of the world, upon the ocean. Well, if they're not, then how did triangles gain so much notoriety?
There's Bermuda Triangle, and then there's the Dragon's Triangle, as well as others, but those are two locations which are infamous for their mysterious ship/plane losses. What is failed to be mentioned by those citing is the fact that of the disappearances which have happened, there has been quite the number which have disappeared upon calm seas/waters, and without any real explanation forthcoming.
With all the Triangles in the world, and the obvious magnetic anomalies which would be the result of the sea floor solidifying its alignment, as it spreads/cools... perhaps the reason why the numbers are pretty close to the same is because we're losing a lot more ships/planes to magnetic field outburst (for lack of a better word) events which might in essence be sending out a magnetic like pulse, or similarly a sonar like magnetic resonance ping the moment of their alignment/cooling. This could work very much like an EMF pulse which would destroy a ship's navigational equipment, the electrical equipment related to engines, etc. Without these things they'd be dead in the water and could easily be lost due to a myriad of reasons.
Samuel Jakah (September 2018)
I personally think that there is a World in the Oceans that is unknown to man. First of all only less than 5% of the Ocean has been explored and the remaining 95% remains unexplored, this means that some of the so called "mythical sea creatures" (mermaids) might not be real after all and here's why!. Almost every land creature living or extinct has a replica in the ocean , e.g. Sea Lion, Sea Elephant, Sea Horses etc: So to me Mermaids are the replicas of us human beings in the oceans because they resemble us. So the disappearance of the Bermuda's Triangle will only be solved when we fully explore and understand the Oceans.....
B Rader (March 2017)
Thanks for the updates- one of the creepiest books I read in the 70's was Richard Winners "The Devils Triangle" and this part of the Atlantic has always been fascinating. I guess what I don't understand given today's technology is how ships and planes are not fitted with Lo-Jack technology. If my car is stolen, the police will be able to pinpoint it's location in minutes- how is it possible, as in the Malaysian Flight that disappeared a few years ago, that commercial shipping and aircraft do not have the same locator technology? I would be most interested to hear anyone's explanation for this. Thank you very much.
Todd Rickey (October 2016)
Methane bubbles probably affect buoyancy to varying degrees, while there is more to consider regarding the methane budget. Most of it is in storage. Primarily, the cause of many phenomena there involves the outgassing of methane "ice" (clathrates) from the sea floor.
As you know, another name for much of the area is the "Sargasso Sea" due to thick mats and subsurface extents of sargasso seaweed (algae). Over millions of years, dead algal deposits accumulate and are buried along the continental shelf at varying depths. In this environment, plant material decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen).
The microbial anaerobes produce methane within the sedimentary deposits. Given the conditions of pressure and temperature there, water molecules arrange in a cage (Latin: clathrate) surrounding methane molecules. This results in a crystalline lattice of methane-water ice, stable in the submarine subsurface environment. Such deposits are also found below land surface in the Arctic permafrost.
When conditions occur that disturb this methane ice (seismicity, warming, turbidity flows), the water cage decomposes rapidly, while the natural gas explosively sublimates. Into lower pressure areas the expanding methane essentially explodes toward the surface. Given some source of ignition though, a chemical explosion would occur where enough oxygen is present.
Jason C H Tai
Watched a documentary on Bermuda triangle few days ago, seamed there are lots of lightning strikes in the area. What if massive lightning that strikes the sea/gulf stream brought massive amount of electrons that could not dissipate immediately. You have the gulf stream moving at 5 knots northwards, slow, but as a whole the pool of water could still constitute a massive charge. Can we apply the Right Hand Rule, i.e. a magnetic field generated? If so, the magnetic field and force could possibly be strong enough to wrack havoc.