05.22.19

The Devil’s Triangle Claims Another Victim – Rational Thought

Few places on earth hold as many perceived mysteries as the Bermuda Triangle, an area in the Atlantic Ocean where ships and planes seem to go to die. It’s so mysterious people can’t even agree on its actual location. Depending on whom you ask, the three points of this triangular quagmire are Florida, Puerto Rico and Bermuda; Virginia, Puerto Rico and Bermuda; or inexplicably, Florida, Puerto Rico and Ireland.

In any of these options, the area covered by the “Devil’s Triangle” is at least 500,000 square miles in an area prone to white squalls (violent storms that appear without warning). It’s also one of the most frequently traveled areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Considering the size of the Triangle, the weather conditions and the frequent use, it’s not that surprising or mysterious that so many ships and planes have had accidents here. Statistically speaking, the Bermuda Triangle isn’t any more dangerous than any other area of the ocean.

Most Bermuda Triangle mysteries have been debunked. But that’s not as fun as wild speculation, so many less acute people tend to disregard even the most logical of explanations. A large part of the debunking has been done by Larry Kusche, former reference librarian and member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. For his book “The Bermuda Triangle Mystery – Solved,” Kusche contacted real sources such as the Coast Guard and the Air Force, and he collected copies of newspapers from areas where disappearances and other oddities reportedly occurred. Prior to this, most Bermuda Triangle “research” consisted of people repeating what they had read elsewhere without ever checking if it was true. Kusche found that much of it was not, either due to misunderstanding, convenient leaving out of inconvenient facts or outright lying.

Many of the ships and aircraft that have “disappeared” in the Triangle can be attributed to either the powerful Gulf Stream (it can literally be seen from space) sweeping away all traces of an accident or the wreckage falling into some of the deepest trenches in the world. Or that the ship wasn’t even in the Bermuda Triangle.

The Mary Celeste is one of the more popular “unsolved” mysteries, with some sensationalizing it as “the notorious ghost ship.” It was found in Portugal, fully intact but with no crew. Even if you’re one of the five people who thinks the Triangle goes all the way to Ireland, it still doesn’t encompass Portugal, so the real mystery is how Mary Celeste even became associated with the Bermuda Triangle.

Of all the unlikely explanations for accidents in the Bermuda Triangle, from alien abductions to time portals, this one stands out the most: ocean farts. We wish we were lying.

In an attempt to explain giant craters they found in the ocean, scientists from the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate proposed that methane gas builds up in the ocean and causes explosions when released. Much to their horror, people took this idea, crassly named it “ocean farts” and ran with it as an explanation for the Bermuda Triangle. The Centre actually had to post an article on its website denouncing the idea that its scientists’ painstaking work was in any way tied to the very unscientific drama surrounding the so-called Devil’s Triangle.

Despite statistics showing that the area called the Bermuda Triangle isn’t any more dangerous than any other part of the ocean, as well as ample evidence showing many of the mysterious incidents to be because of human error or bad weather, people still can’t let it go. Efforts to make this triangular area into more than it seems are obtuse.

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