Fast Facts: Boaters Beware of the Bermuda Triangle

The long-told stories of the Bermuda Triangle talk about the mysterious vanishings of ships, planes, and people allegedly disappearing in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean.

These unexplained disappearances have caught our attention for years. Some hypothesize that unknown forces like extraterrestrials captured the humans or that vortices had sucked the vessels into other dimensions.

However, environmental considerations can explain some, if not all, of the unanswered questions and disappearances. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, most Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes pass through the Bermuda Triangle. These dangerous storms claimed many ships in the days before improved weather forecasting. Also, the Gulf Stream can cause rapid, potentially violent changes in weather.

In addition, the many islands in the Caribbean Sea create many shallow water areas that can be treacherous to ship navigation. There is also some evidence to suggest that the Bermuda Triangle is a place where a “magnetic” compass sometimes points towards “true” north, as opposed to “magnetic” north.

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard claim no supernatural explanations exist for tragedies at sea. Their experience suggests that the combined forces of nature and human fallibility outdo even the most skeptical science fiction. They also state that no official maps exist that delineate the boundaries of the Bermuda Triangle. The U. S. Board of Geographic Names does not recognize the Bermuda Triangle as an official name and does not maintain an official file on the area.

The ocean is a mysterious ecosystem of undiscovered life and territories, and when foul weather or poor navigation is added to the equation, it can be a deadly place. This is true all over the world. No evidence exists that mysterious disappearances occur more frequently in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-traveled ocean area.


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