Where is the Bermuda Triangle and is it Real?

Stoked by myriad tales, documentaries and conspiracy podcasts, legend states that the section of the North Atlantic commonly known as the Bermuda Triangle is a vortex of the inexplicable, where ships and planes mysteriously vanish without a trace. But what is the Bermuda Triangle, and where is the Bermuda Triangle located?

1 November 2023

The mysterious aura surrounding the location of the Bermuda Triangle and the stories it tells has been the fodder of human imagination since the mid-nineteenth century, leaving many to wonder if malevolent forces or even extraterrestrial interventions are at play.

The enigma of the Bermuda Triangle began as early as the days of Christopher Columbus, who documented unusual compass readings and mysterious lights in the area in the 1490s. Over the centuries, reports of unexplained occurrences continued to pile up in the area now known as the Bermuda Triangle.

It’s believed that in the past century alone, more than fifty ships and twenty aeroplanes have disappeared under suspicious and often unexplained circumstances within its confines. It’s worth noting that, like many of the reported ‘facts’ surrounding the Bermuda Triangle, there are a number of different sources who have claimed larger or smaller numbers depending on their own criteria.

While it’s true that many of these vessels and aircraft have never been found, making their fates the subject of speculation and conspiracy, it’s also worth noting that the ocean can easily swallow evidence, making recovery and investigations difficult – and this is certainly true when looking at the Bermuda Triangle location itself.

Where is the Bermuda Triangle?

A map of the Bermuda Triangle. (Credit: PeterHermesFurian via Getty Images)

The Bermuda Triangle, often described as a vague expanse in the North Atlantic Ocean, is notorious for the perplexing disappearances of ships and aircraft which have occurred within this area. The triangle’s corners are typically identified as Miami (Florida, USA), Bermuda, and San Juan (Puerto Rico), covering an expansive area of approximately 500,000 square miles.

However, not everyone can agree on the location of Bermuda Triangle incidents themselves. Some writers have it three times as large – up to 1,500,000 square miles – and yet others have it reaching as far east as Ireland’s west coast. As such, the number of mysteries claimed as taking place within the Bermuda Triangle varies dramatically, largely depending on the geographical boundaries which are referenced.

The Deadly Bermuda Triangle

A mock-up of Vincent Gaddis' magazine article (Background texture - Credit: Nenov via Getty Images)

The term ‘Bermuda Triangle’ entered popular folklore in 1964 with the publishing of an article in Argosy magazine called The Deadly Bermuda Triangle by Vincent Gaddis. Prior to this, the location of the Bermuda Triangle and its associated mysteries had been discussed, but there wasn’t a universally accepted term for the area. Gaddis’s article played a significant role in popularising the name.

Is the Bermuda Triangle Real?

Bermuda triangle, conceptual computer artwork. (Credit: VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS via Getty Images)

In one sense, yes, the Bermuda Triangle is very real. Geographically speaking, the question ‘where is the Bermuda Triangle’ is easy to answer. The area itself is a part of the Atlantic Ocean traversed by thousands of ships and planes every year, and the name ‘Bermuda Triangle’ is widely used to describe this specific area. Whether there’s anything mysterious, suspect or supernatural going on is another matter entirely.

Anecdotal evidence, perpetuated by tales of disappearances and oddities, plays a significant role in the area’s mystique. And it’s these famous tales of the unexplained which have led to the concept of the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. Some of the most famous of these incidents remained unsolved to this day.

One such example was the Flight 19 incident in which a group of US Navy bombers were lost within the Bermuda Triangle. In December 1945, these five planes vanished during a routine training mission, with neither the aircraft nor the fourteen airmen ever found. The mystery deepened when a search plane sent to locate them also disappeared without a trace.

Similarly, the USS Cyclops, a Navy cargo ship with over 300 crew aboard, met its unexplained fate in 1918. En route to Baltimore from Brazil, the ship vanished after leaving Barbados, becoming the single largest loss of life in U.S. naval history not directly involving combat. No wreckage or evidence of the ship’s demise has ever been located.

While these incidents and others certainly grab the imagination, it’s essential to consider them in context. The location of the Bermuda Triangle is a heavily travelled region, with a vast number of ships and aircraft passing through daily. Many of the alleged mysteries can be attributed to environmental factors, human error, and possibly even deliberate acts of subterfuge or sabotage. Despite the legends, statistically speaking, the rate of incidents in the Bermuda Triangle is not significantly higher than that of other heavily travelled regions of the world. Hence, while the Bermuda Triangle location is undeniable, the mystique surrounding it is often an increasingly blurred mix of fact, fiction, and the human penchant for storytelling.

The Prevailing Theories

A magnifying glass investigates the Bermuda Triangle. (Credit: Lightguard via Getty Images)

The Bermuda Triangle, with its enigmatic reputation, has been the subject of numerous theories over the decades. These range from scientifically plausible explanations to wild speculations rooted in the paranormal and extraterrestrial.

Environment & Geography

Earth’s magnetic field. (Credit: artpartner-images via Getty Images)

It’s believed by some that magnetic anomalies in the region can cause navigational instruments to malfunction. One of the answers to the question ‘where is the Bermuda Triangle’ is that it’s one of the few places on Earth where true north and magnetic north align – known as the agonic line – potentially leading to navigational errors. This may have been the case with Flight 19.

Another hypothesis suggests that large amounts of methane gas, trapped in the seafloor, might occasionally erupt. These eruptions could theoretically decrease the water’s density, causing ships to sink rapidly. For aircraft, an eruption could cause engine failure. The methane hydrate theory, while theoretically plausible, is controversial and not widely accepted by the scientific community.

The location of the Bermuda Triangle itself contains some of the deepest underwater trenches in the world. In fact the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean, the Puerto Rico Trench in the Milwaukee Depth at 8,380 metres (27,493 feet) is located within the confines of the Bermuda Triangle. If a ship or plane were to sink in these areas, the depths could make wreckage recovery nearly impossible.

Human Error

The mode control panel, used to control the autopilot of an airliner. (Credit: Ollie Desforges via Getty Images)

Given the vastness and unpredictable weather patterns in the area where the Bermuda Triangle is located – the Gulf Stream, an incredibly strong ocean current known to cause violent changes in localised weather passes through – it’s plausible that some incidents are due to human error, where captains, navigators and pilots could potentially misread or misinterpret their instruments.

Some have also suggested that certain disappearances may be due to deliberate acts, like piracy, or even espionage.

The Paranormal

An illustration of an Alien amidst the milky way at night. (Credit: Apostoli Rossella via Getty Images)

One of the more outlandish theories suggests that extraterrestrials are responsible for the disappearances, capturing ships and planes for unknown reasons. Some claimants have even stated they’ve seen unidentified flying objects in the region.

Another of the fringe theories when the topic of ‘where is the Bermuda Triangle located’ comes up, is that beneath it lies the lost city of Atlantis. Proponents of this theory believe that energy crystals, remnants from the lost city, interfere with ship and aircraft operations.

Some believe that the Bermuda Triangle location houses portals or vortexes to other dimensions or times, explaining the sudden and inexplicable disappearances. However there’s no evidence of this based on our current understanding of physics, nor is this theory supported by mainstream science.

Why Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story

Supernatural ship (Credit: Mark Stevenson via Getty Images)

Many argue that the legend of the Bermuda Triangle is simply a product of exaggeration, misreporting, or sensationalism. They point out that statistically, the Bermuda Triangle does not have a significantly higher number of shipwrecks or plane crashes compared to other heavily travelled regions of the world.

Instances where a boat’s disappearance was reported, but its eventual reappearance and return to port was not, further adds to the explanation that the location of the Bermuda Triangle may not be the ghostly vortex some claim it to be. There have also been claims of boats and planes disappearing within the loose confines of the Bermuda Triangle, but in fact they occurred hundreds – and in some cases thousands – of miles outside its reputed area.

The lore surrounding the Bermuda Triangle has long captured the public’s imagination, with tales of vanished ships and disappeared aeroplanes igniting intrigue and fear. However, it’s worth considering that many of these stories persist not necessarily because they shed light on anything genuinely mysterious, but because they’re popular and profitable.

Sensational narratives draw readers and viewers, making them commercially attractive for writers, filmmakers, and media outlets. Over time, the commercial appeal of these tales might have overshadowed the need for objective and rigorous investigation, perpetuating myths that, upon closer scrutiny, could have more mundane explanations.

The Truth of the Triangle

Where is the Bermuda Triangle and is it real? The first part of the question has been answered, but as for the second part?

The allure of the Bermuda Triangle is not just its mysteries but the human tendency to be captivated by the unexplained. As science and technology have evolved, so too have our understandings of many occurrences once deemed ‘paranormal’. While many of the Bermuda Triangle’s tales can now be explained through navigational errors, environmental factors, or even deliberate disappearances, the legend persists, a testament to its ingrained place in popular culture.

Whether a staunch believer in its paranormal reputation or a sceptic attributing the incidents to more mundane explanations, the location of the Bermuda Triangle undeniably occupies a significant place in maritime folklore.


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