It’s a puzzle that’s stumped scientists and scared sailors. What causes the Bermuda Triangle to claim so many planes and ships?
Experts now believe they’re one step closer to solving the mystery with the discovery of giant underwater craters off the Norwegian coast.
The craters, located at the bottom of the Barents Sea, are almost one kilometre wide and 45 metres deep.
Scientists suspect they are caused by build-ups of methane off the coast of oil-rich Norway that created cavities which eventually burst.
'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,' said researchers from the Arctic University of Norway told The Sunday Times.
"The crater area is likely to represent one of the largest hotspots for shallow marine methane release in the Arctic."
While the craters are located far away from the infamous triangle, experts are suggesting a similar phenomenon could be at play off the coast of Bermuda.
The Bermuda Triangle is the area extending between Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Miami, famous for its high volume of shipwrecks. The area’s waters are suspected to have claimed up to 300 vessels.
The modern legend began on 5 December 1945 when Flight 19 took off from the U.S. Naval Air Station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (See The Mystery Of Flight 19).
Flight 19 was a squadron of five TBM Avenger Torpedo Bombers on a routine training mission, all of which disappeared. To this day, despite a massive land and sea search, no bodies or wreckage have been found.
From sea monsters and giant squid to alien abductions and alternate dimensions, there are many theories about what happens to planes and ships that go down in the Bermuda Triangle.
Many scientists believe the truth is likely a combination of less far-fetched causes including human error, treacherous weather, and plain bad luck.
The U.S. Coast Guard's official response to Bermuda Triangle inquiries states, "It has been our experience that the combined forces of nature and the unpredictability of mankind outdo science-fiction stories many times each year."
Scientists argue that the triangle is no more or less dangerous than any other stretch of open sea. No one has been able to prove that mysterious disappearances occur more frequently there than in other heavily-used sections of the ocean.
"The region is highly travelled and has been a busy crossroads since the early days of European exploration," said John Reilly, a historian with the U.S. Naval Historical Foundation.
"To say quite a few ships and airplanes have gone down there is like saying there are an awful lot of car accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike – surprise, surprise."