Science News

The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle Solved

Sun, 30th Sep 2001

Part of the show Dinosaurs and Fossils

The Bermuda Triangle is a place not many people would venture into without misgivings. Hundreds of ships have allegedly vanished in its waters, leading to strange rumours of paranormal activity and alien invasions. But the ships disappearances could simply been caused by methane bubbles escaping from the sea bed, according to a report in this week's New Scientist. People have often suggested that bubbles in the ocean could sink ships. The principle is simple enough- if you mix enough bubbles into water, you lower the density of the water so that anything floating on its surface will sink. A group of American scientists came up with a simple way of putting this theory to the test. They made bubbles in a beaker of water by feeding air into the bottom of it. Then they dropped in balls of different weights, to see which would float. Balls that floated in still water, sank when the bubbles were switched on. The same mechanism could explain why ships sink in the Bermuda Triangle. Michael Denardo, who led the team, said "If a phenomenon can be made to occur in a lab, it probably happens somewhere in the natural universe."


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