31 March 2014
The Bermuda Triangle
THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE
The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. According to the US Navy, the triangle does not exist, and the name is not recognized by the US Board on Geographic Names. Popular culture has attributed various disappearances to the paranormal or activity by extra terrestrial beings. Documented evidence indicates that a significant percentage of the incidents were spurious, inaccurately reported, or embellished by later authors. In a 2013 study, the World Wide Fund for Nature identified the world’s 10 most dangerous waters for shipping, but the Bermuda Triangle was not among them.
The first written boundaries date from an article by Vincent Gaddis in a 1964 issue of the pulp magazine Argosy, where the triangle's three vertices are in Miami, Florida peninsula; in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and in the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda. But subsequent writers did not follow this definition. Some writers give different boundaries and vertices to the triangle, with the total area varying from 1,300,000 km2 (500,000 sq mi) to 3,900,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi).Consequently, the determination of which accidents have occurred inside the triangle depends on which writer reports them. The United States Board on Geographic Names does not recognize this name, and it is not delimited in any map drawn by US government agencies.
The area is one of the most heavily travelled shipping lanes in the world, with ships crossing through it daily for ports in the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. Cruise ships are also plentiful, and pleasure craft regularly go back and forth between Florida and the islands. It is also a heavily flown route for commercial and private aircraft heading towards Florida, the Caribbean, and South America from points north. Tropical cyclones are powerful storms, which form in tropical waters and have historically cost thousands of lives lost and caused billions of dollars in damage. The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla's Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of a destructive hurricane. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Triangle.
A powerful downdraft of cold air was suspected to be a cause in the sinking of the Pride of Baltimore on May 14, 1986. The crew of the sunken vessel noted the wind suddenly shifted and increased velocity from 32 km/h (20 mph) to 97–145 km/h (60–90 mph). A National Hurricane Center satellite specialist, James Lushine, stated "during very unstable weather conditions the downburst of cold air from aloft can hit the surface like a bomb, exploding outward like a giant squall line of wind and water." A similar event occurred to the Concordia in 2010 off the coast of Brazil.