For decades the Bermuda Triangle, or the Devil's Triangle, has been the site of an unsolved mystery.
Beginning in the 1950s, reports of unexplained shipwrecks and plane crashes in the area between Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico started rolling in. Many eyewitnesses have described seeing strange things inside the triangle, including ghost ships. But most people assume that the stories are just urban legends.
Kooky explanations, including UFOs and wormholes, have been offered as possible solutions, but most people think there's something more mundane at work. Many stories mention pilots and ship captains losing track of "magnetic north" because of strange interference inside the triangle.
And there are confirmed cases of people vanishing inside the triangle. The U.S.S. Cyclops, its crew of 309 men, and its shipment of manganese all vanished without a trace after leaving Barbados.
In another case known as Flight 19, a five plane team of torpedo bombers flew east of Fort Lauderdale on a training mission. The planes never returned. The disappearance was blamed on a navigational error, but another search and rescue aircraft vanished while looking for Flight 19.
Finally, researchers think they can put these mysteries to rest with a new, scientific explanation.
A team of scientists from Norway may have solved the Bermuda Triangle mystery while studying their country's waters.
Norway's coast is famously rich with oil, and it's common for the sandy ocean floor to "burp" methane bubbles up to the surface. Huge underwater craters, some half a mile wide, send up streams of gas bubbles that could sink an unlucky ship in their wake.
Some scientists theorize that similar cases of "organic flatulence" could be sinking ships in the triangle. While this theory doesn't account for airplane crashes, there are lots of other reasonable explanations.
The Gulf Stream passes through the triangle, and it's known for sudden bursts of violent weather. It's also common for tropical cyclones to pass through the area. And even if a vehicle was resting in the open water, strong currents could push it off course from its last known location.
Watch how many flights pass safely over the triangle every day:
Despite all the true believers, most people say there's nothing mysterious about the Bermuda Triangle at all. It's one of our planet's busiest sea lanes, and flights pass over it safely all the time.
Still, there are enough mysterious cases inside the triangle to make us wonder...
Do you believe in the Bermuda Triangle mystery? Share this article and tell us...
[H/T: Atlas Obscura]