FOR years it has been one of the world’s greatest mysteries – why have so many boats and planes been lost forever within the Bermuda Triangle?
Hundreds of boats and planes have been lost to the mysterious triangle
But now scientists believe there could be a much more Earthly, and provable explanation, for the legend also known as the Devil’s Triangle.
Researchers have found huge undersea craters which could be tell-tale signs on why vessels went missing and were possible blown to smithereens, to end up at the bottom of the sea.
The up to half-mile-wide and 150ft deep craters in the Barents Sea are thought to have been caused by a build-up of methane.
This graphic shows the vast extent of the triangle
Methane is likely to have leaked from deposits of natural gas deeper below the sea bed, then created cavities which eventually burst, once the pressure gets too high, the scientists said.
This would lead to a massive blow up of gas, which could cause a boat or ship to fail if it was passing at the height of the explosion.
Russian scientist Igor Yeltsov, deputy head of the Trofimuk Institute, said: “There is a version that the Bermuda Triangle is a consequence of gas hydrates reactions.
Has the mystery of the missing boats and planes finally been solved?
“It happens in an avalanche-like way, like a nuclear reaction, producing huge amounts of gas.
“That makes the ocean heat up and ships sink in its waters mixed with a huge proportion of gas.
“The crater area is likely to represent one of the largest hotspots for shallow marine methane release in the Arctic.”
Hundreds of boats and planes have been lost within and just outside the triangle since Christopher Columbus was the first to record its existence, noting his ship’s compass stopped working and he saw a fireball in the sky.
Crew of Torpedo Bomber28, lead plane of Flight 19 which vanished in December 1945
The the first reported ship with a radio lost in the triangle was the USS Cyclops ship in 1918
Disappearances have been blamed on UFOs, strange mists, and even time travel.
The biggest recorded loss was in 1945 when five US Navy Avenger torpedo bombers flying from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Bimini Island never showed up after a radio call from the 14 men on board that their compasses stopped working.
Three rescue planes also disappeared.
The Bermuda Triangle covers 440,000 square miles of sea – from the British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean, to the Florida coast and on to Puerto Rico.