If you are an avid bookworm who loves the fiction genre, you would have probably come across the term in the Percy Jackson book series. Several Hollywood producers are also obsessed with making movies around it. In addition, many websites, magazines and television shows seem to promote the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.
So, what is the Bermuda Triangle? Bermuda Triangle is an area in the North Atlantic ocean that is roughly encompassed by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. Also called the Devil’s Triangle, it has supposedly claimed hundreds of lives in the last century. For the past several decades, planes and ships that passed through it have reportedly vanished into thin air under mysterious circumstances.
Eerie, right? How exactly did the Bermuda Triangle come into existence? What is the story, or more accurately, the stories that baffled so many people?
Legend has it that the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle started with William Shakespeare. Some scholars claim that his famous play “Tempest” is based on a real-life Bermuda shipwreck.
On his first voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus recorded that a great ball of fire struck the waters and that a strange light emerged in the distance a few weeks later.
In 1885, a ship named Ellen Austin sailing from Liverpool to New York encountered a fully-stocked abandoned ship. Seeing an opportunity to loot cargo, the captain sent some crew members to occupy the ghost ship. But an unexpected storm separated the two ships. On reuniting after two days, there wasn’t a single trace of the crew. When some more crewmates boarded it for the second time, a thick fog obscured both the ships. When the fog cleared, the crew and the ship had disappeared.
Joshua Slocum was a gifted sailor who had never been lost at sea. In 1895, he vanished on a voyage from Martha’s Vineyard to South America. Although the reason behind his death is unclear, many sources claim that it is once again the malicious work of the Bermuda Triangle.
In 1918, the US sent its colossal fuel ship, USS Cyclops, to aid the British in World War I. However, it never reached its destination. With no debris and no distress calls, the ship vanished without a trace. Similarly, the Navy ships USS Proteus and USS Nereus also shared the same fate.
The legend began to captivate public attention with the infamous disappearance of Flight-19 in the triangle. In 1945, five of the best Avenger Bombers of the US Navy set out to complete a three-hour routine exercise. Yet again, they disappeared along with the rescue planes dispatched to retrieve them.
It wasn’t until August 1964 that the region got its name. Vincent Gaddis coined the term Bermuda Triangle in a cover story for Argosy magazine about the disappearance of Flight 19.
Human imagination has gone wild trying to come up with exotic conspiracy theories to explain the disappearances. Some of the bizarre speculations are gigantic sea monsters, the presence of extra-terrestrials, alien abductions and the lost country of Atlantis.
We couldn’t be more far off from reality. While some of the “mysterious disappearances” resulted from human error and poor engineering, others are stories concocted by over-imaginative writers. A few years later, when the events were fact-checked, it was discovered that there was no mystery to solve in the first place.
But weighing paranormal theories against scientific ones, who would choose the boring latter? I, for one, am all for the fabulous conspiracy theories that make up the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. I mean, who wouldn’t? Right?