Bermuda Triangle ‘solved’
BRITISH scientists believe 30m "rogue" waves could be the reason why so many boats have been sunk in the mysterious Bermuda Triangle.
The infamous body of water in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean stretches 700,000km between Florida, Bermuda and Puerto Rico.
Also known as the Devil's Triangle, the area features multiple shipping lanes and has claimed more than 1000 lives over the past 100 years.
But experts at the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom, believe the mystery can be explained by a natural phenomenon known as "rogue waves", The Sun reports.
Appearing on documentary The Bermuda Triangle Enigma, the scientists used indoor simulators to re-create the monster water surges.
Rogue waves - which only last for a few minutes - were first observed by satellites in 1997 off the coast of South Africa.
Some have even measured 30m high.
The research team built a model of the USS Cyclops, a huge vessel which went missing in the Bermuda Triangle in 1918, claiming 300 lives.
And because of its sheer size and flat base, it did not take long before the model ship was overcome with water during the simulation.
Dr Simon Boxall, an ocean and earth scientist, said the infamous area in the Atlantic could see three massive storms come together from different directions - creating the perfect conditions for a rogue wave.
He believed such a surge in water could snap a boat, such as the Cyclops, in two.
"There are storms to the south and north, which come together," Dr Boxall said.
"And if there are additional ones from Florida, it can be a potentially deadly formation of rogue waves.
"They are steep, they are high - we've measured waves in excess of 30m. The bigger the boat gets, the more damage is done.
"If you can imagine a rogue wave with peaks at either end, there's nothing below the boat, so it snaps in two. If it happens, it can sink in two to three minutes."
MYSTERIES AND THEORIES OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE
The mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle might be finally explained with the 30m rogue waves theory, but myths surrounding the area are likely to last forever.
But how did all the tales and legends about the Bermuda Triangle begin?
Its abnormalities were first noted in 1950 by Edward Jones, writing for the Miami Herald, before it gained notoriety in 1952 when George Sand wrote in Fate magazine about certain incidents that had taken place in the region.
One of the more famous examples was that of Flight 19, a training flight of five torpedo bomber planes. All five of the aircraft vanished during a training session in 1945.
After this, many disappearances of planes or ships were reported and the mystery continued.
Ever since, researchers and scientists have come up with an array of theories to explain the mystery disappearances.
One of them is the methane gas theory, which blamed gas trapped under the sea floor for the scores of plane and ship disappearances. This, the claim went, could erupt, lower the water density and cause ships to sink like a rock. Even planes flying over it could catch fire and get completely destroyed, researchers said.
Another theory related to "electronic fog", the name coined for what is essentially a storm. The "electronic fog" would appear from nowhere and engulf a plane or a ship by causing its instruments to malfunction, so the ship or aircraft would vanish with no trace.
A third theory involves hexagonal cloud and air bombs. Meteorologists discovered strange hexagonal clouds capable of blasting winds to the ocean below at huge speeds. Those wind storms on the ocean were said to create waves as high as 14m, ravaging ships and planes caught in it.
Australian scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has also blamed large waves for the apparent disappearance of Flight 19, which he believed crashed in the Bermuda Triangle due to human error.
Last year, a plane carrying four people, including a mother and her two children, went missing in the infamous triangle.
Jennifer Blumin, her sons aged three and four and her pilot boyfriend Nathan Ulrich, had just spent Mother's Day in Puerto Rico and were flying to Florida when their twin-prop MU-2B aeroplane vanished off the radar about 59km east off the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.
Communication was lost at 24,000 feet (7.3km) and a speed of about 555km/h, officials said.
The search was eventually called off and no bodies were found.