The scientists believe deposits of oil and methane gas buried deeper in the sea floor burst through the seabed and formed giant underwater craters – they have discovered up to half a mile wide and 150ft deep – off the coast of natural gas-rich Norway. They suggest the huge methane bursts could churn up water potentially posing a danger to ships, or escape into the atmosphere potentially posing risks to aircrafts.
“Multiple giant craters exist on the sea floor in an area in the west-central Barents Sea … and are probably a cause of enormous blowouts of gas. The crater area is likely to represent one of the largest hotspots for shallow marine methane release in the Arctic,” scientists from the Arctic University of Norway told The Sunday Times.
The mystery behind solving the mystery
Although, further details of the findings will be released in April at the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union, the University of Norway research preliminary summarycaused quite a stir forcing co-author Karin Andreassen to release a statement:
“We have discovered many large craters on the seabed in the central Barents Sea. Analyses suggest that blowout of methane gas once the ice retreated after the last Ice Age formed these craters. We have yet to publish these results, so these are preliminary. What I can say is that we are not making any links to the Bermuda Triangle.
“Craters are gigantic, up to one kilometer wide and 30 meters deep, and give evidence on blowouts of gas from the seabed. Blowouts can be linked to thawing of gas hydrates, which is methane in form of ice, beneath the seabed after the last Ice Age ended. But conditions during the last ice age cannot be compared with what we see today.”
The scientists have refrained from linking the Bermuda Triangle, but the idea is not new. The theory was initially posited in 2014 by Russian scientist Igor Yeltsov from the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum-Gas Geology and Geophysics.
“‘There is a theory that the Bermuda Triangle is caused by gas hydrates. They start to actively decompose with methane ice turning into gas. 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 waters which are infused with huge amounts of gas. This leads to the air becoming supersaturated with methane, creating an extremely turbulent atmosphere, leading to aircraft crashes.”
National Geographic also reported in 2015 that “methane can escape into the air, making the atmosphere highly turbulent and perhaps causing aircraft to crash”.
International Business Times also notes:
The area, also known as the “Devil’s Triangle”, is a western area of the North Atlantic Ocean bounded by Bermuda, Puerto Rico and a point near Melbourne, Florida, where numerous ships and aircraft have mysteriously disappeared throughout the ages. The bedrock of these seas has many magnetic anomalies that can produce misleading compass readings. The deposits of frozen methane gas can explode in violent outbursts – methane blowouts – capable of sinking even large vessels. These waters are also prone to waterspouts, which are vortices that suck up water from the sea into the clouds. The winds of these waterspouts can reach more than 190kmph (120mph) and are common during the summer in the humid air and warm waters of Florida’s seas, where there are probably 400-500 waterspouts each year.
The real mystery
There have been a number of conspiracy theories about the Bermuda Triangle, but not many are convinced. John Reilly, a historian with the US Naval Historical Foundation, told National Geographic:
“The region is highly traveled and has been a busy crossroads since the early days of European exploration. To say quite a few ships and airplanes have gone down there is like saying there are an awful lot of car accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike — surprise, surprise.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also notes:
Environmental considerations could explain many, if not most, of the disappearances. The majority of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes pass through the Bermuda Triangle, and in the days prior to improved weather forecasting, these dangerous storms claimed many ships. Also, the Gulf Stream can cause rapid, sometimes violent, changes in weather. Additionally, the large number of islands in the Caribbean Sea creates many areas of shallow water that can be treacherous to ship navigation. And there is some evidence to suggest that the Bermuda Triangle is a place where a “magnetic” compass sometimes points towards “true” north, as opposed to “magnetic” north.
The ocean has always been a mysterious place to humans, and when foul weather or poor navigation is involved, it can be a very deadly place. This is true all over the world.
There is no evidence that mysterious disappearances occur with any greater frequency in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-traveled area of the ocean.