A hot spot for unexplained disappearances and alleged UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle has been teasing our imagination for decades. With mysterious disappearances of airplanes, ships, and people, the Bermuda Triangle has spawned a host of conspiracy theories and just as many books, movies, and even comic books. But how much do you know about the most mysterious corner of our planet?
Let’s take a look at 50 shocking facts about the Bermuda Triangle.
50. The Bermuda Triangle extends from Bermuda to Miami and Puerto Rico, and covers 440,000 square miles of ocean.
49. Due to so many unexplained disappearances, it is also known as the Devil’s Triangle.
48. Planes or ships lost in the triangle are often not found- scientists believe that this is because the Gulf Stream runs near the triangle and quickly removes the debris from the search area.
47. It’s estimated that 1000 lives have been lost in the last 100 years.
46. Despite the apparent danger from alleged sea monsters, aliens, and the ancient city of Atlantis, it’s still one of the premier vacation destinations in the world.
45. Situated within the Triangle is the US Navy’s AUTEC facility, which stands for Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center, located on the Andros island of the Bahamas. The Navy uses the facility to test submarines, sonar, and other weapons- but many believe they have a part to play in the Triangle’s disappearances or are investigating the true sources.
44. Pilot Bruce Gernon claimed to have lost 28 minutes as he flew through a time warping cloud tunnel which also affected his instruments. Flying from Bermuda to Miami, the three hour flight only took a third of the time and Mr. Gernon believed he had catapulted forward in time.
43. Skeptics point out that its likely all Mr. Gernon experienced was a very strong tailwind and a well-documented phenomenon known as a roll cloud, which would have had very fast moving air inside it that propelled the airplane along and could have had static electricity.
42. On November 5th, 1945 the US Navy lost five Avenger torpedo bombers and one rescue plane sent to locate the missing planes- known as Flight 19- as they flew within the Bermuda Triangle.
41. The flight of Navy Avengers dropped practice bombs at the Hens and Chickens shoals near Bermuda at 14:30 and turned north for the second leg of their journey when flight leader Lt. Charles C. Taylor- an experienced combat veteran of the Pacific Theater- radioed that his compass was malfunctioning . A front blew in suddenly with heavy rain and gusting winds, disorienting Flight 19.
40. Another pilot flying near the Florida coast was the first to overhear the flight’s radio communications. Taylor relayed that both his compasses were out and he was trying to find Ft. Lauderdale- he was sure he was in the Florida keys but didn’t know where. This claim made no sense as he had just passed over the Bahamas less than an hour later and now believed that they were hundreds of miles off course.
39. Pilots lost in the Atlantic were instructed to point their planes towards the setting sun and fly to the mainland, but for some reason Taylor believed they had somehow flown into the Gulf of Mexico, hundreds of miles away, so he pointed his planes northeast to try to find Florida.
38. At least one pilot recognized the mistake, saying over the radio “Damnit, if we would just fly west, we would get home.”
37. When fuel began to run low, Taylor prepped his men for a crash landing in the ocean. As the disoriented pilots flew further into the Atlantic their radio communications became fainter until fading at last into an eerie buzz of empty static.
36. The Navy scrambled search planes immediately, sending a pair of PBM Mariner flying boats out of Ft. Lauderdale. Just 20 minutes later though one of them disappeared from radar. It’s believed that it had caught fire and crashed into the ocean though as the Mariners were notorious for catching fire, and a merchant ship spotted a fireball and found evidence of an oil slick in the ocean.
35. Despite a five day search involving 300 ships and aircraft all searching an area of 300,000 square miles, no wreckage or bodies were ever recovered from any of the missing aircraft. A navy board of investigation argued that Taylor had confused the Bahamas for the Florida Keys after his compasses malfunctioned, but couldn’t find any clear explanation for why the flight became so disoriented- or why Taylor believed he was hundreds of miles from his actual locations.
34. Witnesses claimed that Lt. Taylor had arrived to Flight 19’s pre-exercise briefing several minutes late and requested to be excused from leading the mission, saying ” I just don’t want to take this one out.”
33. The Avenger pilots also mysteriously did not make use of the rescue radio frequency or their planes’ ZBX receivers, which would have let them home in on Navy radio towers on land. The pilots were even told to switch the devices on, but either didn’t hear the message or didn’t acknowledge hearing it.
32. In 1991 treasure hunters believed they had solved the mystery of Flight 19 when they discovered five World War II Avengers near Fort Lauderdale, however none of the serial numbers matched those assigned to Flight 19’s planes.
31. In the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, Flight 19 was portrayed as having been whisked away by aliens and deposited in the deserts of Mexico.
30. The first supernatural report from within the Bermuda Triangle came from Christopher Columbus, who wrote in his journals about fireballs in the sky and that his compass had suddenly stopped working- eerily similar to Flight 19’s predicament.
29. Until the 19th Century the Bermuda Triangle was one of two places on earth where a magnetic compass did not point towards magnetic north, but instead pointed towards true north. Due to variations in the earth’s magnetic field though the phenomenon has since corrected itself.
28. The term “Bermuda Triangle” was first coined in 1964 by writer Vincent Gaddis in the men’s pulp magazine Argosy.
27. Some scientific theories for the disappearances involve large bubbles of methane that float up to the surface near a ship or plane, which can disrupt a ship’s buoyancy and sink it, or affect a plane’s engines and down it. The methane could also possible be ignited and destroy a boat or plane via explosion or burning.
26. Whether for natural, or unnatural reasons, the Triangle is well known to be home for extremely violent and unexpected storms which seem to form literally from out of nowhere.
25. The ocean under the triangle is some of the deepest in the world, going form a gently sloping continental shelf to an extremely deep drop-off.
24. The Triangle is also one of the most heavily trafficked sea lanes in the world, which could account for the high rate of accidents and disappearances.
23. In 1976 Milton Bradley released a Bermuda Triangle board game, and in 1987 an Atari game of the same name was developed.
22. A Vincent Price-narrated documentary on the Bermuda Triangle offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who could solve the Bermuda Triangle mystery.
21. Depending on weather and time of year, the triangle’s strange weather, electromagnetic issues and other phenomenon can be experienced outside the normal borders of the Triangle.
20. Before earning the more famous nickname of Devil’s Triangle, the area was known as the Limbo of the Lost in reference to all the bodies that were never recovered.
19. William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest was inspired by a wreck that occured in 1609 within the Bermuda Triangle.
18. One of the earliest mysteries of the Triangle was that of the disappearance of the USS Cyclops. In March of 1918 the 542 foot (165 meters) long ship disappeared with 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore between Barbados and Chesapeake Bay.
17. The ship was considered state-of-the-art at that time, and equipped with radios that could have called for help- yet no SOS distress call was ever sent. This led President Woodrow Wilson to say, “Only God and the sea know what happened to the great ship.”
16. Later, two of the Cyclops’ sister ships vanished on the same route.
15. In the early 1940s, the British South American Airways Star Tiger Ariel, along with a Douglas DC-3 flown by the British Royal Air Force, all disappeared without a trace over the triangle. The ships were some of the most technologically advanced of the time, and none ever relayed so much as a single distress call before disappearing.
14. In 1963, the tanker ship Sulfur Queen and its crew of 39 well-trained sailors all disappeared without a trace. At 7.420 tons and more than 300 feet high, the Sulfur Queen was a formidable ship to just suddenly disappear, yet a Coast Guard search discovered nothing and no distress call was ever sent.
13. In 2017 Turkish Airlines flight TK183 experienced unexplained mechanical and electrical problems as it flew over the triangle and was forced to change course.
12. In May 2017 a private plane was in contact with air traffic controllers in Miami when it suddenly vanished from radar and lost contact over radio. Wreckage believed to belong to the plane was later found.
11. The Bermuda Triangle sits right in the heart of hurricane alley, which likely leads to many of the triangle’s disappearances.
10. In 2001 a marine engineer and her husband working in conjunction with the Cuban Government to survey the seafloor around Cuba discovered a series of symmetrical and geometric stone structures that resembled an urban complex, to include possible pyramid-like structures.
09. A further investigation with an underwater ROV revealed large blocks of stone resembling hewn granite, with some appearing to have been stacked deliberately atop each other.
08. Scientists estimate the structures would have taken 50,000 years to sink to the depths they were discovered in, but no culture in the world had the architectural know-how to build complex building 50,000 years ago. A specialist in underwater archaeology at Florida State University said that if the structures were real, then “The Structures are out of time and out of place.”
07. Compared to the legend of Atlantis, Scientists quickly dismissed the idea of this being the fabled lost city, but pointed at local legends from the Maya and Yucatecos of an island inhabited by their ancestors that vanished beneath the waves.
06. Despite an initial rush of publicity and promises of further investigation by national geographic, the Cuban government, and others- the discovery of a possible sunken city quickly faded to obscurity, prompting many to believe that there has been some sort of suppression of information about the discovery.
05. Two popular songs were named after the Bermuda Triangle, one by Fleetwood Mac in 1974 and another by Barry Manilow in 1981.
04. As of 2018, 75 planes and hundreds of ships have been officially recorded as lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
03. A series of stone formations called the Bimini Road were discovered within the triangle, bearing a strong resemblance to a paved stone road and further fueling theories that Atlantis lies within the Bermuda Triangle.
02. The TV Shows X-files, Wonder Woman, Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, Quantum Leap, and The Librarians all had Bermuda Triangle-themed episodes.
01. A Sister to the Bermuda Triangle lies in the Pacific, known as the Devil’s Sea, it is a triangular area that stretches from Japan to the islands of Bonin and includes portions of the Philippine Sea.