The Bermuda Triangle is covered with mysteries and myths to the core. For centuries, people have been trying to understand the phenomenon but to no avail. Many get goosebumps even with the mere thought of it. While visiting the location is a nightmare for all. Why? It is the devil’s triangle after all!

Bermuda Triangle’s notoriety and devilishness has been proven time and again. Legend has it that whoever goes to the Bermuda Triangle gets trapped by the devil. There is this mysterious force that lures the sailors and pilots towards undisclosed destinations. No one has ever returned from the mysterious place. It has been the sole cause behind the disappearance of many maritime ships, crewmen, and airplanes.

Bermuda Triangle Map
Image Credit: Otogi/Wikimedia

Even more surprising is that even scientists cannot provide a reliable explanation of these disappearances. In some cases, the vessel wrecks were found but the crew was missing. Over the course of five centuries, the Bermuda Triangle has remained an object of intrigue. So, let’s find out more about this mysterious place on the Atlantic.

How it all started?

Bermuda Triangle has claimed many lives, vessels, and airplanes so far. But, its reputation as a place of paranormal activity is a result of a few news articles. For instance, Edward Jones’ article published in Florida’s newspaper Miami Herald in 1950. George Sand’s article for Fate magazine in 1952 and Vincent Gaddi’s in 1964. Gaddi firstly labeled the triangle as a “Deadly” zone in his article for Argosy magazine. These write-ups basically brought the eeriness of Bermuda Triangle to public attention. Hence, from the 1950s onwards, the phenomenon started taking the world by storm.

Scientists and researchers brainstormed for days, weeks and years but couldn’t give any explanation. The vanishing incidents were far too many to ignore as mere accidents. The word about the triangle’s mysterious aura spread quickly. People came to know that the Bermuda Triangle was an unsafe place to be. This is how the triangle received its reputation as the devil’s triangle. It was dubbed a spooky place that attracts travelers like a magnet. This is how the legend of the Bermuda Triangle originated.

exumas island bermuda triangle
Image Credit: David Broad/Wikimedia

Bermuda Triangle Location:

The Devil’s Triangle is located at the western side of the North Atlantic Ocean. You can understand it as a triangular area in the Atlantic Ocean, closer to the United States. It is basically a loosely-defined, unregistered region that has three corners. The three corners include Miami, San Juan, and Bermuda. Bermuda is the triangle’s north-Atlantic island and the name has been derived from this corner.

It is the world’s most heavily traveled shipping routes. Yet it doesn’t show up on the map (interesting isn’t it). Ships use this route to reach the ports in the Americas, the Caribbean islands. and Europe. It is also frequently used by cruise ships, commercial/private aircraft and pleasure crafts.

Quick Facts about the Bermuda Triangle:

  • There have been many disappearances around the triangle but reporting of the incidents started from the 1950s
  • Even after seven decades, the real cause behind such a large number of mysterious vanishings is unknown
  • Only between 1945 and 1965, about 5 planes crashed, 10 ships sank/vanished here
  • Bermuda Triangle is known for unexpected, very violent storms that quickly build and dissipate
  • Strangely enough, it is one of the two places on Earth where a compass doesn’t work. Instead of showing true north, it shows magnetic north
  • The triangle is amongst the earth’s deepest sites. In fact, some of the world’s deepest trenches are located here
  • The area harbors a considerably high concentration of methane gas. This is probably caused due to decomposing sea organisms in the ocean
  • If there are instruments on deck, the electromagnetic vortices from the area will affect them hugely
  • The haunting electronic fog at the triangle is so thick that it is literally impossible to look through it.
  • When sailing nearby the triangle, never look up. The largest number of UFO sightings and alien kidnappings have occurred right here
  • It is one of the world’s most highly trafficked shipping routes
  • A miniseries The Triangle (2005), made by US-British-German filmmakers, concluded that Bermuda Triangle is a wormhole.
The Lost City of Atlantis
Image Credit: George Grie/Wikimedia

Could it be the Lost City of Atlantis?

Have you ever heard about the lost city of Atlantis? For your information, the Atlantic Ocean is named after the Atlantis city. It is an island buried under the ocean now. Or maybe it didn’t sink, because the city is claimed to have been lost.  According to Plato’s narration of the incident, one fine day Atlantis became the victim of “violent earthquakes and floods.” Everything and everyone present in Atlantis on that day sank into the earth. It is theorized that the city sank into the Atlantic Ocean but it hasn’t been proven yet.

The lost city of Atlantis is linked by some researchers with the Bermuda Triangle. The reason is the rock formation called the Bimini Road, which was discovered in 1968. This is a submerged formation off the Bimini Island, located in the Bahamas. This particular formation is claimed to fall into the boundary of the triangle.

Atlantis City was home to some of the most sophisticated and cultured civilizations. The people of Atlantis city were great scholars. They literally were the jack of all trades and masters of all too. They even mastered the field of technology. Historians regard them as supernatural beings and not humans. It is claimed that the city sank where there is Bermuda Triangle and that’s why there are so many UFO sightings.

According to folklore, people of Atlantis relied heavily on very powerful crystals and had vast energy reserves. It is due to these energy crystals that compasses don’t work in the Triangle region. Navigation systems just cannot work due to the power of these crystals. In fact, theorists claim that the crystals are buried under the Bermuda Triangle and transmit huge energy waves. It is because of these waves that vessels get destroyed.

Is it the Devil or Dajjal’s Triangle?

Since there hasn’t been any explanation about the mysterious disappearances around the triangle, so theorists have every right to theorize. One such theory is that the Bermuda Triangle is where Dajjal is placed in captivity.

Dajjal is an evil figure in Islamic theology. Dajjal is said to be the face of Satan that will surface on Earth before the Day of Judgment. In fact, it is one of the many warning signs of the onset of the Day of Judgment in Islamic eschatology. Before its time arrives, Dajjal has been kept in captivity. Its whereabouts haven’t yet been discovered and it is said that it will surface suddenly.

Theorists are of the opinion that Dajjal lives under the Bermuda Triangle. It is also claimed that the Dajjal is creating havoc for ships and airplanes that pass through the triangle. But, how can he do that while being captive? It is yet another mystery waiting to be explained.

Bermuda Triangle’s Devilish Ways:

The Bermuda Triangle has made headlines for being the graveyard of countless ships and aircraft. Thousands of planes and ships disappeared while passing through the triangle. A majority of the incidents involved ships from the US Air Force, US Coast Guards, US Navy and US military training aircraft. So, one thing is assured, the pilots would have been well-trained and not novices. Then how can these ships and planes end up vanishing into thin air? Without even leaving any trace behind? There is so far no explanation whatsoever. All that we have got are stories and more stories about disappearing crewmen and vessels. Some of these incidents are listed below.

Ellen Austin and the Mysterious Ship:

An American schooner, Ellen Austin, frequently traveled between London and New York during the 1850s. It was a huge multi-storied ship that weighed more than 1800 tons. This 210ft long ship used the Bermuda Triangle route to travel in the Atlantic zone.

In 1881 on one of her regular voyages it came across another ship that was moving quickly. Surprisingly there was no one on board that ship. Intrigued to find out the truth, Ellen Austin’s Captain Baker sent some of his crewmembers on that ship. They confirmed that the ship was sailing without anyone on board. The captain then ordered them to stay on the ship to guide it to the port.

For two days, the two ships sailed together. Finally, they were separated by a huge storm. After the storm was over, the mysterious ship couldn’t be found. Captain Baker detected the mysterious ship once again but there wasn’t anyone onboard.

Mary Celeste:

Mary Celeste’s story is probably the best-known mysteries associated with the triangle. The ship was discovered somewhere nearby the triangle on 4th December 1872. Everything was perfectly fine but the entire crew was lost. It was actually found stranded on the ocean a few days after it started the journey to Genoa, Italy from New York.

Reportedly, there were 7 crew members on board Mary Celeste including Captain Benjamin Briggs with family. The ship was loaded with raw liquor. However, another British ship titled Dei Gratia found Mary Celeste sailing partially off the Azores Islands in the Atlantic. There wasn’t anyone on board and the lifeboat was also not present. There was a sword lying on the deck but the liquor barrels and crew’s expensive belongings were all intact. Until today, we don’t know what happened to those sailing on Mary Celeste.

USS Cyclops- Largest Incident of Disappearances:

The vanishing of USS Cyclops is regarded as the biggest loss of life in the entire history of the US Navy in any incident. USS Cyclops was among the biggest fuel ships owned by the Navy with 550 feet length.

In March 1918, the ship was sailing to Baltimore from the West Indies via the Bermuda Triangle. There were 10,800 tons of manganese onboard the USS Cyclops and 309 crewmembers. The ship was sailing smoothly and the captain even sent out the message that the weather was fine.

But, this massive ship disappeared and was never heard from ever again. The last message received from the captain was “Weather Fair, All Well.” Even after extensive searching of the entire area, nothing could be found. There were no remains of the huge ship or of the crew members. It is quite surprising that the ship’s captain didn’t send any distress signal and never responded to radio calls made by other ships. What then happened to USS Cyclops still remains a mystery.

The Curious Case of Carroll A. Deering:

This was yet another schooner that was abandoned by its crew members in North Carolina. Reportedly, Caroll A. Deering was a five-masted ship built in 1919. It was set on a sail from the Cape Lookout lightvessel. The ship started its journey on Jan 29, 1921. Only after two days, on Jan 31, the ship was found abandoned at Diamond Shoals. It is an area nearby Cape Hatteras. It is claimed that the ship was attacked by pirates or it collided with another ship Hewitt. But nobody knows for sure what actually happened on that fateful day.

The Ill-fated Flight 19:

A training flight of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers called Flight 19 also became a victim of the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. It was on a routine exercise and traveling to the east from Fort Lauderdale. Instead of returning to the base, it disappeared on 5th December 1945.

Navy investigators claim that the aircraft disappeared due to a navigational error and possibly crashed after running out of fuel.  Interestingly though, the aircraft that was sent to look for Flight 19, a PBM Mariner, also vanished with its 13 crew members. There was a tanker off the Florida coast that reported seeing an explosion.

Also, there were reports of a huge storm at the time of this incident. What happened to the ill-fated Flight 19 is yet unknown. But the incident did gain worldwide attention when Steven Spielberg used the idea in his sci-fi movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In the movie, the crew members of the lost Flight 19 were shown to be abducted by aliens.

Tudor Star Tiger- Yet Another Victim:

A Tudor Mark-IV aircraft is another victim claimed by the notorious Bermuda Triangle. The Star Tiger was flying over the triangle and was due to land at the Bermuda airport. But, it couldn’t make it that far and got lost from the radar while it was flying over the triangle.

The Witchcraft:

There have been many, many incidents involving disappearances of vessels and aircraft, probably hundreds. The more recent one is the Witchcraft. It was a cabin cruiser named Witchcraft by its captain Dan Burack and Father Patrick Horgan, his friend.

On December 22, 1967, both Burack and Horgan started their journey aboard this 23-foot luxury cruiser. They wanted to enjoy the remarkable view of Christmas lights at Miami. But, unfortunately, after only sailing for a mile offshore, a call was received by the coast guard from the captain. The captain informed that the ship was hit by something but there wasn’t much damage. The coast guard immediately set off to help them. It took them only 19 minutes to reach the Witchcraft but the ship had disappeared. It had sailed for just one mile and was a huge cruiser. How can it just vanish never to be found again is beyond our understanding.

sea storm bermuda triangle
Image Credit: Awangba Mangang/Wikimedia

How do Scientists Explain Bermuda Triangle Mysteries?

Obviously, scientists don’t believe in paranormal activities so they have come up with a number of probabilities. Some of the explanations are described here.

Massive Underwater Craters:

Believe it or not but scientists claim that there are huge craters present underneath the Bermuda waters. These powerful craters are supposedly the main cause of vessels going missing. The reason is that the craters are so huge that they break vessels into small pieces. The vessels end up at the bottom of the sea. These craters are at least half-mile wide and nearly 150ft deep. The methane build-up is believed to be the main cause of the creation of these craters. But, there is one massive loophole in this theory. How can craters damage aircraft?

Rogue Waves:

The legendary vanishing of such a large number of planes and ships was probably due to rogue waves. This is the finding of a research team from the Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Center, University of Southampton. Led by oceanographer Simon Boxall, the team discovered that ginormous waves are causing these disappearances.

The ginormous wave itself is a mythical maritime phenomenon that hasn’t been proven legitimate as yet. Dubbing them as the real monsters of the triangle, Boxall suggested that the waves are nearly 61ft high. These are enough to make any huge vessel go astray.

The ginormous wave can create massive walls of water. The walls can wipe out almost anything that touches it. These are extremely powerful waves with 100metric tons force per square meter.

For your information, ships can withstand 15metric tons per square meter. A 12-meter rogue wave creates 6 metric tons of force per square meter. But these waves have the tendency to reach a height of 95feet or more.

Researchers believe that some of the incidents at the Bermuda Triangle were caused by rogue waves. For instance, the USS Cyclops, claims Boxall, was lost because of a rogue wave. It peaked at such high force that the ship got snapped in two pieces. The ship had a flat bottom so she rolled quickly. Research suggests that it takes just 2 to 3 minutes time for a ship to completely sink after such an incident.

Bermuda Triangle’s Weather Risky for Vessels?

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) state that the triangle’s weather is prone to storms. When storms from both the south and north combine, the waves get up to 30m high. The bigger the ship is, the higher it is at risk of damage.

Unfavorable environmental conditions, therefore, are the primary cause of a majority of disappearances. Most of the Atlantic tropical storms/hurricanes cross the Bermuda Triangle. These can easily claim ships. Then there are the unexpected and violent weather changes caused by the Gulf Stream.

Moreover, there are a large number of islands in the Caribbean Sea. These create shallow water areas, which usually mislead ship navigation.

So, the NOAA claims that there isn’t any supernatural activity going on. The Bermuda Triangle, however, is an intriguing place. Here a magnetic compass can point towards true north instead of magnetic north. Yet, the combination of human error and nature are the possible causes behind disappearances.

Compass Failures:

Compass failure in pointing out the right north is cited to be one of the many reasons behind so many disappearances. Some theorists believe that unusual magnetic variations exist in this region. These variations aren’t yet explained by science. Compasses have magnetic variations naturally in comparison to the magnetic poles. Magnetic north and true north are similar only for a few places. For instance, in the US these places can be found only between Wisconsin and the Gulf of Mexico. Since the public is unaware of this tendency of compasses so they believe there is a supernatural force.

The Sargasso Sea is a Deadly Trap?

The Sargasso Sea is quite a strange oceanic region. Why is it so? Because it doesn’t have any shores. Also, it is constrained only by the water currents that cover it from all sides. It is believed that ships that pass through it get stranded and cannot move ahead. Many ships were ruined by the sea and hence, the sea got the reputation of a deadly trap for ships.

Electronic Fog:

This hasn’t yet been proven but theorists claim that the strange thick cloud can cause accidents. This thick cloud can appear out of the blue over the triangle region. Once it is created, the ship cannot move ahead and instruments start to malfunction. The result is that the ship sinks into the water and cannot be traced.

Gulf Stream:

The Gulf Stream is another reason for the accidents at the triangle. It is actually a major surface current that is enabled by thermohaline circulation. This circulation originates in the Gulf of Mexico. It then passes through the Straits of Florida and reaches the North Atlantic. Gulf Stream is basically like a river within the ocean that can carry floating objects. The maximum surface velocity of the Gulf is about 2m/s or 6.6 ft/s. If a plane makes a water landing or a ship facing engine issues, the Gulf Stream can easily carry them away.

To Err is Human:

Human error is among the most widely cited explanations of the weird disappearances at the triangle. Most inquiries into the loss of any vessel or aircraft conclude with this explanation. It is quite possible that the accidents are caused by human error. But, how can even trained pilots from the US Navy and Air Force err so frequently?

Methane hydrates a Possible Cause:

Scientists claim that some disappearances may have been caused by the large methane hydrate fields at the triangle. It is a type of natural gas present on the continental shelves. After some experiments in Australia, it was concluded that methane hydrates can successfully sink ships. These hydrates reduce water density, which sinks the ships. And, any wreckage that rises to the surface is then dispersed by the Gulf Stream.

Methane eruptions, also called mud volcanoes, can make water frothy enough to lower the buoyancy, which ships need to move. In such a situation, ships can sink quickly without any warning. Interestingly though, the USGS claims that no large releases of methane hydrates in the triangle have been identified for the last 15,000 years.

Final Thoughts:

Despite many explanations provided by scientists and oceanographers, the Bermuda Triangle mystery is yet unsolved. The place has claimed so many lives; there are about 300 shipwrecks lying on its surface. These aren’t ordinary small boats but very advanced, massive structures. Such as The Constellation, Mary Celeste, Cristobal Colon, Montana, Xingda, USS Cyclops, etc.

So, what can cause so many large-sized ships to sink? We can assume that there are very large underwater reefs that can be dangerous for large ships. But, science cannot simply explain why so many large ships disappear even though the triangle is one of the deepest water regions in the world. Also, how can ships vanish so suddenly in good weather? How can aircraft end up sinking into the deep waters of the triangle? What happened to the crew members of ships that were found sailing astray, without any damage?

Until science doesn’t provide answers to these questions people will continue to believe in the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. It was, is and will remain a mysterious, haunted region.

featured image credit: NOAA’s National Ocean Service/Flickr