“Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.” William Shakespeare wrote this about the island in ‘The Tempest’. It is believed that Shakespeare drew inspiration for this poem from shipwrecks that happened in 1609 on the coast of Bermuda. Since then, and even before, people have wondered—what is the Bermuda Triangle? The ‘triangle’ is a section on the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by Bermuda, Miami, and Puerto Rico. It’s gained a superstitious reputation because of the large number of ship and airplane disappearances over it. 

What Is The Bermuda Triangle?

The Bermuda Triangle is also called the Devil’s Triangle or Limbo of the Lost and is spread across 1,300,000 and 3,900,000 square kilometres. The most common question is where is the Bermuda Triangle located? The area is a mythical section and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names does not officially recognise it. While there have been missing planes and ships since the mid-19th century, the phrase was coined by Vincent Gaddis in 1964. Even though there are a lot of theories regarding the Bermuda Triangle, including alien activity, no one has found any concrete evidence. 

Mysteries Of The Triangle

Some of the biggest mysteries at the Bermuda Triangle are the disappearances of Flight 19 and USS Cyclops. In March 1918, in an area between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay, the USS Cyclops sank. It was a navy cargo ship that was carrying 10,000 tons of manganese, with 300 men. It was 542 feet long. The ship did not send out any distress call and the wreckage was never found. The other incident happened in December 1945 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where five navy bombers went on practice runs and took 14 men along with them. Flight 19, the leader of the mission, got lost as his compasses malfunctioned. The other five planes could not navigate their way back to the airfield and ended up with low fuel. These planes were never seen again, and the 13-men rescue team that went in search of them also disappeared the same day. Even after an extensive search that went on for weeks, they did not find any traces of them. 

The Columbus Connection 

In 1974, Charles Berlitz wrote a book called ‘The Bermuda Triangle’ which added to the myth and mystery of the area. There is still a lot of confusion as to what is the Bermuda Triangle but the legend goes back to Christopher Columbus who recorded strange goings-on like weird lights, malfunctioning compasses, and a burst of flame as he travelled through the waters now called the Sargasso Sea, an area between Bermuda and the Caribbean. According to ‘The New York Times’, there are legends of many ships and boats that wander these waters with remains of other sailboats. The myth is famous because many ships and planes have disappeared without any wreckage or bodies being found. Most of these vessels had inbuilt distress signals but they were not activated before they vanished.

A Series Of Strange Happenings

Another incident that added to the myth of what is the Bermuda Triangle, is Ellen Austin. In 1881 a ship called Ellen Austin encountered a ghost ship on its way from Liverpool to New York. Ellen Austin’s crew went on board this abandoned ghost ship, but then both ships were separated by a fierce storm. After the storm passed, Ellen Austin’s crew met with the ghost ship but their crew members had vanished. The ghost ship still had valuables on board so the captain of Ellen Austin and the crew tried going on the ship again but thick fog covered the ship. When the fog cleared, the ship had disappeared.

There is a long list of incidents including the disappearance of a navy ship called the USS Proteus in 1941, a DC-3 commercial flight with 29 passengers in 1948, and a British Avro Tudor plane called ‘Star Tiger’, the SS Marine Sulphur Queen in 1963 and more. Over the years, scientists have come up with theories regarding what is the Bermuda Triangle and the mystery, relating the unexplained incidents to methane gas on the seabed, shallow waters, and drastic and fast changes in weather. 

A Legend Or An Unsolved Mystery?

According to Britannica, even though the Bermuda Triangle has these mysteries attached to it, the number of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle is not more than the other area in the Atlantic Ocean. The Bermuda Triangle also has heavy air and water traffic. Some regular tropical storms and hurricanes occur in the area. There is no exact estimate of the number of disappearances, but is believed to be up to 50 ships and 20 airplanes.  


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