Norwegian Scientists Unintentionally Provide Fuel for a Fringe Theory on the Bermuda Triangle
Scientists in Norway are making waves with an announcement this week that has unintentionally linked giant craters in the Barents Sea to the controversial Bermuda Triangle. They say that the craters could have been created by exploding natural gas which some say has the possibility of being dangerous for ships. The international media has run rampant with the idea and connected it to a fringe theory explaining the odd occurrences in the Bermuda Triangle.
According to National Geographic , the researchers of the Arctic University of Norway studying the craters found that they are up to a half mile (0.8 kilometer) wide and 150 feet (45 meters) deep. They believe that the craters were “caused by the explosive release of methane, also known as natural gas, that was trapped in the sediment below.”
Methane is normally solid under the pressure of the sea, but it is known that chunks of the substance can break off and form gas bubbles that logically rise to the surface. Thus, the current work may provide a scientific explanation for reports from sailors of water starting to bubble and foam with no apparent cause.
It is important to note that the Norwegian scientists from the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) have not suggested that the craters are related to the Bermuda Triangle – others have taken the idea and run with it. They say on their website: “Multiple giant craters have been discovered on the ocean floor in the Barents Sea. Contrary to recent media reports, they are not connected to theories about Bermuda Triangle. They are however connected to huge blowouts of methane gas in the area during the last deglaciation.”
A photo showing the giant craters in the Barents Sea. ( CAGE)
Specifically, Professor Karin Andreassen at CAGE, stated on the website:
“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.”
Although there is much controversy by what is being presented in the media brouhaha, the Norwegian scientists have actually been studying seismic data of the giant craters in the Barents Sea "Multiple giant craters exist on the sea floor in an area in the west-central Barents Sea... are probably a cause of enormous blowouts of gas," say the researchers . "The crater area is likely to represent one of the largest hotspots for shallow marine methane release in the Arctic."
A research vessel, the L'Espoir in Bergen, Norway. ( Sveter/ CC BY SA 3.0 )
And it is that connection with methane gas release in the water that has set off a frenzy for people interested in the Bermuda Triangle and ship disappearances around the world.
Going back to 2003, David May and Joseph Monaghan suggested that the methane bubbles could sink ships – depending on the location of the ship to the gas bubble. They wrote in their article in the American Journal of Physics :
“Whether or not the ship will sink depends on its position relative to the bubble. If it is far enough from the bubble, it is safe. If it is exactly above the bubble, it also is safe, because at a stagnation point of the flow the boat is not carried into the trough. The danger position is between the bubble’s stagnation point and the edge of the mound where the trough formed.”
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The researchers were interested in how their hypothesis could explain a sunken vessel found near a site known as “The Witches Hole” in the North Sea (between Britain and continental Europe).
Regarding the disappearance of aircraft, National Geographic reported in their October publication " Strange But True ," that "methane can escape into the air, making the atmosphere highly turbulent and perhaps causing aircraft to crash."
Structure of a gas hydrate (methane clathrate) block embedded in the sediment of hydrate ridge, off Oregon, USA. The gas hydrates were found during a research cruise with the German research ship FS SONNE in the subduction zone off Oregon in a depth of about 1200 meters in the upper meter of the sediment. ( Wusel007/ CC BY SA 3.0 )