Today was a beautiful day in Oklahoma even though it's Ground Hog Day and a Cross-Polar cold front is expected to hit by Thursday, heralding the six more weeks of winter Will and Wiley say are on the way (Will and Wiley are the bears at the OKC Zoo who fill in for the ground hog here.)
One of my favorite mysteries is the Bermuda Triangle. I think we can agree – there’s a lot going on there. In 1999 when my husband and I got engaged, we were both pretty settled. We didn’t need a lot of things and neither of us wanted to spend a lot on a big wedding, but the honeymoon we wanted to go all out on. I’d never been out of North American (though I had been to Canada and Mexico), and he’d traveled extensively with the military, so he rarely got to travel for pleasure. He told me to pick a spot we would probably NEVER get to go again, but something that would mean something to us forever.
Bermuda ticked all the boxes. Deep down inside, I kind of hoped we’d get lost and stay there forever. The only thing I struggled with was the coral sand cutting up my feet and trying to figure out how to cross the street (they drive British-style and the roads are very narrow). That was over 20 years ago, and I still have wonderfully fond memories of our time in Bermuda.
Imagine my surprise, when I was perusing the headlines this evening and discovered a recent report of a research vessel that went missing in the Triangle! The vessel, left Bimini in the Bahamas on December 28, 2020 on a trip to Lake Worth, Florida. It was reported missing after it failed to turn up at its destination, prompting a major coastguard search. After covering 17,000 square miles over a period of 84 hours however, rescuers were forced to suspend their search having found no sign of the missing vessel.
So like my protagonist, Dr. Lauren Grayson, I tend to hear stories like this and analyze them from a scientific perspective. There are a few plausible theories why so many ships disappear in the Devil’s Triangle and some of them make perfectly good sense to me. I studied Geology in college and considered a career as a petroleum geologist for about 15 minutes early in my academic career (I quickly discovered it wasn’t my forte).
Scientists suggest that the culprit might be flammable methane gas. Pockets filled with this gas can be found near the bottom of the ocean in many places, and it is suggested that an electrical spark or lightning might ignite a bubble of methane that came to the surface and could cause ships to sink and planes to crash. Still, there are those who would argue that theory is not completely valid, since methane can be found all over the world, and nowhere else do these types of accidents happen. (Or do they?)
To me, the more likely explanation is the methane gas, which is lighter than air, might displace water beneath the vessels and cause them to sink rapidly. On a deadly still day, it’s possible a methane bubble could have a similar effect on aircraft, though I think that is less likely due to the rapid dispersion of methane in air. (I remember my environmental law professor repeating, “The solution to pollution is dilution.” So I suspect the methane would quickly disperse when diluted in the atmosphere.)
There are also more plausible explanations such as the appearance of sudden “rogue” waves. And while that could be a viable explanation, it leaves plenty of other questions.
On the other hand, scientists have also suggested unusual geomagnetic anomalies might somehow cause problems with navigational systems and confuse pilots and sailors alike. This somehow made them plunge the airplanes into the ocean.
Less plausible theories include aliens, worm-holes, and tears in time. Those are the theories that interest me the most, but the ones with the least amount of scientific research. Maybe someday we’ll get a chance to return and have time to explore some of these theories with a critical eye.
Until then, I’ll just have to enjoy a rum swizzle by the fire until summer returns.
PS: Yours truly just turned in the manuscript for Book 3 of The Veritas Codex to the Publisher and I’m extremely excited about the latest installment of TVC. (If you got the eBook of The Jaguar Queen, you might have even gotten a sneak peek!)
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