Bermuda Triangle Myths and Malarkey

Ever wonder what the origin of the Bermuda Triangle is? It may have been Columbus' fault. The stories surrounding this particular 500,000 square miles of ocean date back as early as the 13th century and the theories behind the numerous mysterious events that have occurred over the years are anything but boring.

Columbus' Story

"When Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on his first voyage to the New World, he reported that a great flame of fire (probably a meteor) crashed into the sea one night and that a strange light appeared in the distance a few weeks later. He also wrote about erratic compass readings, perhaps because at that time a sliver of the Bermuda Triangle was one of the few places on Earth where true north and magnetic north lined up."

Some scholars also claim that William Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" was inspired by an actual ship wreck in the Bermuda Triangle. However, it wasn't until the early 20th century that the triangle truly came into the public eye. In 1918 "the USS Cyclops, a 542-foot-long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore onboard, sank somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay. The Cyclops never sent out an SOS distress call despite being equipped to do so, and an extensive search found no wreckage. "Only God and the sea know what happened to the great ship," U.S. President Woodrow Wilson later said.

Even odder, 2 of its sister ships disappeared 23 years later while following the exact same route.

Up until this time, the area of seemingly inexplicable mishaps has had no name. Not until 1964 did the area first have a moniker coined by Vincent Gaddis in the men's pulp magazine Argosy.

Bermuda Triangle Theories

Charles Berlitz and Atlantis
Following the publication of his 1974 book "The Bermuda Triangle", Berlitz's theory that the triangle was connected to the lost city of Atlantis was expanded by other writers. The thought was "that the mythical city may lie at the bottom of the sea and be using its reputed "crystal energies" to sink ships and planes. Other more fanciful suggestions include time portals"

No need to go any deeper here.

Natural, yet undiscovered, formation
Some "believe that the explanation lies in some sort of extremely rare and little-known yet perfectly natural geological or hydrological explanation. For example, perhaps ships and planes are destroyed by pockets of flammable methane gas known to exist in large quantities under the sea - maybe lightning or an electrical spark ignited a huge bubble of methane that came to the surface right next to a ship or plane, causing them to sink without a trace." While this is a theory at least partially based on logical explanation, it's also filled who holes in the logic and actual science behind it.

These are just a few of the dozens, if not more, theories floating around. Consider though, neither the US Coast Guard nor maritime insurance leader Lloyd's of London consider the area to be an especially hazardous place. We trust them on that.

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