Bermuda Triangle Basics

Many cruises take a path through the infamous Bermuda Triangle, which spans the ocean between Bermuda, Miami, and Puerto Rico. This area is also known as the Devil's Triangle.

The Bermuda Triangle has many natural hazards. First, it's a large stretch of ocean - someone sailing within it that could not navigate properly could easily get lost. There are many reefs in it. Second, pirates enjoyed hanging out in this area - pillaging and sinking boats. Third, it is right in the middle of the hurricane tracks, making any travel between June and November very risky.

However, the main reason that the Bermuda Triangle is notoriously bad for sailors and planes has to do with the earth's magnetic field. As you probably learned in geography class, the earth has a north pole and south pole that you see on maps. However, it ALSO has a magnetic north pole and magnetic south pole, created by the magnetic fields around the earth. The two are not the same.

Not only that, but because the earth is always in motion and changing, the magnetic poles actually move over time - at about 5mph per hour. Mapmakers and captains have to account for this motion. The resulting calculations can be very difficult at sea - and being off can easily result in being 30% away from your target.

All of this would be bad enough to start with - but the Bermuda Triangle has an additional problem. In many places on earth, the magnetic field is compromised because the earth's crust is thin, there's a large pile of ore nearby, or other problems. The Bermuda Triangle is one of those areas.

Because of all of these problems, several planes and ships have become lost in the triangle area. A legend was born! Of course in modern times, we are quite aware of how compasses work and how magnetic north moves on a day to day basis. With modern GPS technology, and hurricane tracking systems, there is little chance of a ship becoming lost in this area.

USS Cyclops - Lost Ship
Flight 19 - Lost Bombers

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