UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Based on a research in Norway, "... the Barents Sea and what they found could offer a viable scientific reason behind the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon. 'Multiple giant craters exist on the sea floor in an area in the west-central Barents Sea ... and are probably a cause of enormous blowouts of gas,' researchers told the Sunday Times. The craters in question were a half a mile wide and 150 feet deep, the Daily Mail reports. The researchers think methane leaking up through natural gas deposits caused the craters, meaning there wasn't just the gradual erosion but explosions of gas as well." Do you believe this could be a possible explanation behind the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon?
Question Date: 2016-11-03
Answer 1:

Thanks for asking such a great question! Your question brings up two really great topics. The first thing we should talk about is how the media often takes scientific studies and changes the meaning of them significantly to make exciting headlines.

There are several news stories like the one you mentioned stating that scientists may have found an explanation for the mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle. As it turns out, the scientists did find some really cool craters in the seafloor near Norway that they think formed from giant gas bubbles, but these have no connection to the Bermuda Triangle. In fact, the scientists made no mention of the Bermuda Triangle or ships disappearing at all in their conference abstract, which is where the media took their information.

Imagine how frustrating it would be as a scientist to have your research incorrectly cited and taken out of context! However, the actual story of what the scientists discovered is still quite interesting. In the Barents Sea, which is near Norway and Greenland, they found huge craters in the sea-floor that may be from blowouts of methane gas that had been frozen beneath the sea-floor. After the last Ice Age ended, which was ~12,000 years ago, things started warming up and the frozen methane turned into gas and exploded out of the seafloor.

Although there are much smaller “pockmarks” on the sea-floor that could represent a smaller-scale methane gas release occurring today, huge releases like the ones that formed the craters mentioned in the news articles are related to conditions during de-glaciation and not really relevant to today’s climate. Not to mention the Bermuda Triangle is nowhere near the Barents Sea where these craters were found.

Good for you for reaching out to scientists rather than simply believing the media’s interpretation!

Secondly, what are some possible explanations for the disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle? The mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle have fascinated people for decades. It turns out that many of the disappearances have reasonable explanations, such as pilot error, storms, or equipment malfunction. This region commonly has water spouts, which are tornadoes that form over the ocean and pull water high up into the air. Also, large storms can appear and disappear very rapidly in this area, which can be really dangerous for pilots.

Another thing to consider is that there is a lot of air and ship traffic crossing the Bermuda Triangle, and many inexperienced pilots and captains as well, so anywhere that you have more traffic you are also likely to have more accidents. Most disappearances or accidents that are attributed to the triangle have reasonable explanations or were not even in the Bermuda region to begin with.

The Bermuda Triangle has largely been de-bunked, but that doesn’t stop people from getting wrapped up in the mysterious stories and accounts!

Hope this helps!

Answer 2:

The recent news from media outlets reporting the cause of the cloud patterns in the Bermuda Triangle contained a lot of misinformation that did not reflect the actual scientific findings. Although I am no expert on the Bermuda Triangle, as far as I can tell from scientific reports, there is not a consensus on whether the idea of ships disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle is linked to oceanographic or atmospheric phenomena. There also appears to be uncertainty in whether the Bermuda Triangle is any more dangerous than other parts of the ocean.

So for now, the idea of an anomalously dangerous Bermuda Triangle and the potential causes are unknown.

Answer 3:

Contrary to popular myth, there is no good evidence that the Bermuda Triangle is any more (or less) dangerous than any other region of ocean of comparable size. The large number of ships and aircraft that have been lost there are probably the result of the fact that it is a very heavily-traveled section of ocean, so if a ship or plane is going to go down, then the chances are good that it will be inside of that triangle when it happens, simply because there is a high probably that a ship or plane is going through that section of ocean to begin with.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use