This was an exciting find and just as interesting a theory as krakens or aliens or time warps or death rays from Atlantis or any other way people tried to explain the loss of ships and airplanes in that area of the world. Scientists suggest that the heart of the problem comes down to gas. Lots of it.
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.
Aircraft falling victim to these methane bubbles will lose their engines-perhaps igniting the methane surrounding them-and immediately lose their lift as well, ending their flights by diving into the ocean and swiftly plummeting to the sea bottom.
Frankly, I like the idea that the earth’s own farts can take us down. Seems somewhat appropriate, actually.
To provide a check on the accuracy of their hypothesis, the two scientists built a large tank, filled it with water to simulate the regions of the earth where ships and planes have reportedly disappeared over the last century, and launched large methane gas bubbles from the bottom of the tank towards a toy ship floating on the surface of the water.
The results were impressive and the physical tests mirrored the computer model. The two found that the ship sank if it was between the middle of a bubble and its outer edges. If the ship was far enough away from the edge of the bubble—or directly over it—the ship would sail on safely. Despite not sinking, however, if the methane bubble was big enough and the ship was positioned at or near the center of the bubble when it surfaced, every one on the ship could be asphyxiated. This would account for several famous cases where ships were found in the Triangle with everyone aboard dead without a scratch.
Maybe it means this event will be predictable. That would be the next step, I suspect. Tell the world when it’s going to happen, position a ship in the right area and let the bits fall where they may. Science triumphs, a whole pile of superstitious crybabies cry conspiracy and we wait until we can prove it again and again and again. That’ll learn ’em.