IT’S one of the planet’s greatest mysteries: Why has the Bermuda Triangle claimed so many ships and aircraft?
Scientists believe they are now a step closer to an answer after the discovery of a series of underwater craters at the bottom of the Barents Sea, off the coast of Norway.
While it’s not close to the Bermuda Triangle, which stretches from Florida to Puerto Rico and the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda, it’s hoped the craters are the key to finally explaining the baffling phenomenon.
The craters, which measure up to 800m wide and 45m deep, are believed to have been created by methane building up in sediments on the sea-floor of the gas-rich Norway coast. They then leak, “popping” through the sea bed and into the water above.
“Multiple giant craters exist on the sea floor in an area in the west-central Barents Sea … and are probably a cause of enormous blowouts of gas,” researchers from the Arctic University of Norway told the Sunday Times.
“The crater area is likely to represent one of the largest hot spots for shallow marine methane release in the Arctic.”
Details of the discovery will be released at the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union next month, where experts will analyse whether these kind of bubbles could place ships in danger.
This is a possibility that has previously been explored, with Igor Yelstov from the Trofimuk Institute saying last year: “There is a version (of theories) that the Bermuda Triangle is a consequence of gas hydrates reactions.
“They start to actively decompose with methane ice turning into gas. It happens in an avalanche-like way, like a nuclear reaction, producing huge amounts of gas.
“That makes the ocean heat up and ships sink in its waters mixed with a huge proportion of gas.”
‘The crater area is likely to represent one of the largest hotspots for shallow marine methane release in the Arctic.’