Sunday, August 8, 2010

Has the Bermuda Triangle mystery been solved?

A recent report in Salem News suggests that it has.

Natural gas — the kind that heats ovens and boils water — specifically methane, is the culprit behind the mysterious disappearances and loss of water and air craft.

The evidence for this astounding new insight into a mystery that's bedeviled the world is laid out in a research paper published in the American Journal of Physics.

Professor Joseph Monaghan researched the hypothesis with honor student David May at the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

The two hypothesized that large methane bubbles rising from the ocean floor might account for many, if not all, of the mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft at specific locales around the world.

Researcher Ivan T. Sanderson identified these mystery areas during the 1960s. Sanderson described the actual shape of these regions as more like a lozenge rather than a triangle. Some of the more famous spots include an area in the Sea of Japan, the North Sea, and of course the infamous "Bermuda (or Devil's) Triangle".

The Bermuda Triangle (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Oceanographic surveyors of the sea floor in the area of the Bermuda Triangle and the North Sea region between continental Europe and Great Britain have discovered significant quantities of methane hydrates and older eruption sites.

Because of the correlations and existing data, the two envisioned what would happen when gigantic methane bubbles explode from natural fissures on the seafloor.

The methane — normally frozen at great pressure as gas hydrates embedded within subterranean rock — can become dislodged and transform into gaseous bubbles expanding geometrically as they explode upwards. When these bubbles reach the surface of the water they soar into the air, still expanding upwards and outwards.

Any ships caught within the methane mega-bubble immediately lose all buoyancy and sink to the bottom of the ocean. If the bubbles are big enough and possess a high enough density they can also knock aircraft out of the sky with little or no warning.

There's more at the link.

I'm a little confused as to when the link between methane gas and the Bermuda Triangle was made. The article by Monaghan and May referenced above was published in the American Journal of Physics back in September 2003. I've not been able to trace a more recent article by those authors in the Journal, but the Salem News article is dated August 6th, 2010. I don't know whether someone only recently linked the two topics, or whether further research has been completed. Still, it's an interesting theory.



Sherm said...

Check YouTube for tests of gas bubbles sinking ships.

Anonymous said...

I heard about this about 20 years ago.

Ritchie said...

The TV show Mythbusters did a test in which they injected methane into a large radial aircraft engine. Just a few percent as I recall, was sufficient to upset the fuel mixture and cause the engine to stop running.

Anonymous said...

Although the hypothesis of methane bubbles sink ships is existed for a long time, the proof just appeared by oceanographic surveyors as they have discovered significant quantities of methane hydrates under the seafloor.