Do People Really Go Missing in the Bermuda Triangle?

Have you heard the theory that the lost city of Atlantis somehow vanished into the sea? Or perhaps you’ve heard tales of sea monsters destroying passing ships. Today, we want to answer the decades-long question: do people really go missing in the Bermuda Triangle? 

Just how dangerous is this region? Are the urban legends true? Let’s dive in and learn more about the mysterious Bermuda Triangle!

Where Is the Bermuda Triangle?

The Bermuda Triangle is in the North Atlantic Ocean. It’s a region between the southeastern coast of the United States, Bermuda, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.

The Bermuda Triangle isn’t explicitly defined, but its triangular shape covers approximately 500,000 to 1.5 million square miles. You likely won’t find it on any maps since it’s not an official region of the Atlantic Ocean.

A map of the Bermuda Triangle showing it's location.

What Is the Bermuda Triangle Known for?

If you’ve heard of the Bermuda Triangle, you’ve likely heard stories of downed airplanes and sunken ships. Reports of unexplained occurrences like these date back to the mid-19th century.

These reports include transmitted distress signals from ships that were never seen again and the discovery of abandoned vessels. Aircraft have also vanished when flying over the Bermuda Triangle. 

The media published articles about the strange disappearances, adding to the paranoia of the region. However, two incidents involved U.S. military crafts. These weren’t made-up stories.

In 1918, the collier USS Cyclops left Brazil and headed toward Baltimore, Maryland. Sadly, it disappeared inside the Bermuda Triangle without any trace. No one ever found the wreckage.

In 1945, Flight 19, a squadron of bombers, also disappeared in the airspace above the Bermuda Triangle. Like the USS Cyclops, divers never found the wreckage, and no one could explain the event.

Besides the unexplained disappearances, the Bermuda Triangle is a heavily trafficked shipping lane. Any ships traveling from Africa or South America to southeastern Florida must pass through this region of the Atlantic Ocean.

Do We Know How Many Ships and Airplanes Have Disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle?

No, we don’t know how many fatalities or disappearances occurred in the Bermuda Triangle. The most common estimate is about 50 ships and 20 airplanes.

While some people suggest a supernatural phenomenon, there isn’t evidence to support this theory. Instead, there seem to be more scientific reasons for the disappearances.

One theory is the presence of the agonic line, which is a place on Earth’s surface where true north and magnetic north align.

Here, there’s no need to compensate for magnetic compass variation, which could lead to navigational error and potential catastrophes. A magnetic compass may point to true north instead of magnetic north. Can You Live in an Airplane?

Have you ever wondered Can You Live in an Airplane? Find out now.

Rusty plane at the bottom of the ocean floor.

Do More Ships Go Missing in the Bermuda Triangle Than in Other Places?

Another theory relates to the dangerous weather in the Bermuda Triangle. Because this region receives storms from multiple directions, rogue waves are more likely to occur. These waves can reach 100 feet in height and can quickly destroy ships. The Gulf Stream also passes through the Bermuda Triangle. This strong ocean current causes sharp weather changes.

No, there isn’t an abundance of ships going missing in the Bermuda Triangle. In a 2013 study, the World Wide Fund for Nature, the world’s largest conservation organization, identified the world’s ten most dangerous waters for shipping. To our surprise, the Bermuda Triangle wasn’t listed.

The South China Sea had the highest number of shipping accidents. The urban legends of the Bermuda Triangle don’t compare to the overall dangers of the South China Sea and East Indies, which saw almost 300 shipping accidents in a 10-year span. The East Mediterranean, Black Sea, and British Isles are also hotspots for disasters.

Large rusty shipwreck completely overgrown with corals lying on the sea floor.

What Does NOAA Say About the Bermuda Triangle?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states, “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.” 

While accidents have occurred here, there are no supernatural explanations for these disasters. Rather, the combined forces of nature and human fallibility are more to blame for catastrophes at sea.

Is It Safe to Travel the Bermuda Triangle?

The number of ships and planes that go missing in the Bermuda Triangle is no different from other places in the world when considering percentages.

While the urban legends of sea monsters destroying ships and the city of Atlantis mysteriously dropping into the ocean are more intriguing, they don’t “hold water” to the scientific theories of weather and magnetism. The more boring explanations don’t make the magazine articles. But they’re more plausible.

If you like intriguing destinations like the Bermuda Triangle, then you need to read about the 10 Ancient Stone Circles in the UK That Aren’t Stonehenge.

A cruise ship on the open water with sunset in the background.

Your Chances Are Great If You’re Traveling the Bermuda Triangle

If you’re heading out on a cruise to Bermuda from Miami, there’s no need to worry about whether or not you’ll safely arrive. You might want to avoid traveling through the South China Sea, though.

What wild stories have you heard about the mysterious Bermuda Triangle?

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