The Bermuda Triangle is perhaps better off unsolved along with the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and other unexplained mysteries. Sometimes life needs a little mystery, and while I know the Bermuda Triangle has seen dozens of ships and planes disappear, presumably causing a loss of life, since the 1940s, I still prefer its mysteries.

Bermuda Triangle
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Bermuda Triangle – TV show theorizes what happened to the craft, others disagree

The Bermuda triangle is roughly defined by three points with the island of Bermuda, of course, being one of them along with Puerto Rico and the tip of the Sunshine State of Florida. This area has seen numerous boats and planes disappear without a trace for roughly the last 75 years.

Last week on an episode of “What on Earth” presented on the Science Channel scientists tried to explain away the missing ships and planes by looking at satellite imagery from NASA‘s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra satellite. The images taken in 2002 over the Bahamas showed clouds that looked to be six-sided and clustered together to form something closely resembling a honeycomb. The clouds, according to the Science Chanel show, ranged in size from about 20 miles across to well over 50 miles across.

“The satellite imagery is really bizarre … the hexagonal shapes of the cloud formations,” said meteorologist Dr. Randy Cerveny who appeared on the show. “These types of hexagonal shapes in the ocean are in essence air bombs. They’re formed by what is called microbursts, and they’re blasts of air.”

Cerveny pointed out the that clouds very similar in appearance form in the North Sea in the vicinity of the United Kingdom and have led to something colloquially known as “air bombs.” These air bombs have been known to be capable of producing downdrafts with the power of a category five hurricane, certainly enough to send a small (or large) plane down into the sea and would not struggle with the sinking of a small boat.

Good television, bad science?

While the show made for good television, its science wasn’t irrefutable by any means and there is no evidence to suggest that something similar has ever occurred in the parts of the Atlantic Ocean where you would find the so-called Bermuda Triangle. Following the airing of the show its recent installment of the enjoyed a bit of a viral life online and caught the eye of meteorologist Kevin Corriveau who quickly scheduled an interview with NBC News to point out that the clouds from the satellite imagery didn’t look like a distinctive microburst to him.

“You would normally have one large to extremely large thunderstorm that wouldn’t have an opening in the middle,” he said.

Essentially, he told the Science Channel to slow its roll.

“I wouldn’t say what we’re seeing in the Bahamas is the exact same as in the North Sea,” Corriveau said while explaining that the “honeycombs” could have been formed by the strange weather patterns caused by the heating of the air by small islands in a manner different to the coast of Florida.

“There is no evidence that mysterious disappearances occur with any greater frequency in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-traveled area of the ocean,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement following the show and blamed simple fantasy for the notoriety of the so-called Bermuda Triangle.

Human error faked deaths, fishing community legend, Atlantis and methane gas could be as responsible for the planes and ships that have disappeared over time in this fabled geometric vortex.