The Bermuda Triangle has captured imaginations worldwide ever since an entire flight, as well as the rescue plane dispatched to find them, disappeared while flying through the area in 1945. Decades later, Bermuda Triangle conspiracy theories are just a quick Google search away, and if anything, they've only gotten more outlandish over the years.
The Triangle's name was first coined by American writer Vincent Gaddis in a cover article about Flight 19 — the aforementioned flight — for the magazine Argosy in 1964. The area's boundaries are nebulous, but it's roughly bordered by Bermuda, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Dozens of disappearances and crashes have been attributed to its treacherous waters over the years, including vanished ships like the USS Cyclops and SS Marine Sulfur Queen. Public interest in the mystery skyrocketed after paranormal enthusiast Charles Berlitz published a book, aptly named The Bermuda Triangle, about the area in 1974. Researchers have offered plenty of rational explanations for the area's reputation; gigantic tidal waves, malfunctioning equipment, and human error are some widely-accepted theories. Last month, some meteorologists claimed that oddly-shaped clouds could cause sudden, incredibly strong air currents that sweep airplanes from the skies.
These explanations are all well and good, but you know what they're missing? Imagination. Here are seven of the strangest, most fascinating Bermuda Triangle conspiracy theories out there.
Atlantis Is Somewhere Under There
I'll start with a personal favorite. According to one theory, the Bermuda Triangle's dangerous waters are caused by the presence of the lost city of Atlantis, somewhere down in the deep. Supposedly, Atlantis was home to an enormous crystal pyramid that now rests on the ocean floor; every few years, a team of scuba divers "discovers" the structure, although their footage always seems to be lost before anyone else watches it. According to alternative news site Apparently Apparel, some believe the glass pyramid can "attract and collect cosmic rays," and while I have no idea what that means, it certainly sounds menacing.
The theory has been thoroughly debunked by Snopes, but it still circulates online. Earlier this month, for example, the Daily Mail ran an article on the subject. Once again, however, the theory's evidence was lost, much like the ships and planes that try to cross the Bermuda Triangle.
It's Responsible For The Crash Of Flight 370
Any disappearance of a plane over open ocean will inevitably be considered in connection with the Bermuda Triangle, and MH370 is no different. The Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared in 2014 with 239 people on board, and people quickly began suggesting that it vanished in the Bermuda Triangle — or, equally suspiciously, on the exact other side of the globe from the Triangle. The area where the plane likely went down is actually opposite the Caribbean Sea, not the Triangle, but that hasn't deterred theorists much.
Earlier this year, though, two pieces of debris found in Mozambique were confirmed to be part of MH370, so it's safe to say that unless teleportation was involved, the flight's disappearance had nothing to do with the Triangle.
Another imaginative theory behind the Bermuda Triangle is that the area is home to portals to other dimensions. Some go further and speculate these wormholes open into the antimatter counterparts to our world, so the ships and planes that disappeared are wandering an Earth made of antimatter. Assuming they survived the trip, of course.
Because conspiracy theorists wouldn't be conspiracy theorists if they didn't argue with each other, some claim that the Bermuda Triangle is full of portals leading not to other dimensions, but to other time periods. According to this theory, when people disappear into the Triangle, they wind up traveling into the past or future. Either way, though, they never come home.
An Ancient Comet
Let's move away from the portal theories for a bit. Some theorists believe that all the weird activity around the Bermuda Triangle is caused by an ancient comet. Supposedly, it crashed into the ocean more than 10,000 years ago, and the comet (now classified as a meteorite, because it survived the fall) came to reside at the bottom of the sea, in a trench so deep it's undetectable. According to the theory, the comet's extraterrestrial nature doesn't play well with navigational equipment, which is why so many people have crashed in the area.
At last, the moment you've been waiting for: Aliens! Some UFO enthusiasts believe that the disappearances associated with the Bermuda Triangle can be chalked up to good, old-fashioned alien abductions. In fact, some theorists have taken to calling the area "Star Gate" out of the belief that aliens use the Triangle as a sort of intergalactic airport.
This would explain why the remains of those who disappear are rarely found; if a UFO was powerful enough, it could lift a ship or aircraft straight off Earth and into the mothership, where all kinds of fun experiments await the crew. Never let it be said conspiracy theorists lack imagination.
It Doesn't Exist
Finally, there's a final conspiracy theory that might just be plausible: The Bermuda Triangle doesn't exist. The area itself is real, but according to critics, it's not home to any more disappearances than other swaths of ocean with similar traffic. The only difference is that the Bermuda Triangle receives attention when people disappear — at this point, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. We're more likely to notice when planes go down in the area, and that only feeds the speculation.
Or maybe that's what the aliens want you to think.
Images: Wikimedia Commons; Giphy (5)