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SARGASSO SEA, BERMUDA TRIANGLE AND THEIR MYSTERIES

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Author Topic: SARGASSO SEA, BERMUDA TRIANGLE AND THEIR MYSTERIES  (Read 9279 times)
Bianca
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« on: December 02, 2008, 04:34:02 pm »

















                                                  THE SARGASSO SEA




The Sargasso Sea is an elongated region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ocean currents. On the west it is bounded by the Gulf Stream; on the north, by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, by the Canary Current; and on the south, by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. It is roughly 700 statute miles wide and 2,000 statute miles long (1,100 km wide and 3,200 km long). It stretches from roughly 70 degrees west to 40 degrees west, and from 25 degrees north to 35 degrees north. Bermuda is near the western fringes of the sea. The Sargasso Sea is the only sea without shores.

The very salty Sargasso Sea is often regarded as being lifeless, though it is home to some seaweed of the genus Sargassum. This seaweed floats en masse on the surface there. The Sargasso Sea also plays a major role in the migration of the European eel and the American eel. The larvae of both species hatch there and go to Europe and/or the East Coast of North America. Later in life, they try to return to the Sargasso Sea to lay eggs. It is also believed that after hatching, young Loggerhead Sea Turtles use currents such as the Gulf Stream to travel to the Sargasso Sea where they use the Sargassum as cover from predation until they are mature.

Portuguese sailors were among the first to discover this region in the 15th century, although it may have been known to earlier mariners, as a poem by the late 4th century AD author Rufus Festus Avienus describes a portion of the Atlantic as being covered with seaweed. Christopher Columbus and his men also noted the Sargasso Sea, and brought reports of the masses of seaweed on the surface.

Due to its proximity to Bermuda (and being in the Bermuda Triangle), the sea is credited with some of the infamous disappearances there. That stigma is further enforced by the sometimes total lack of wind over the sea, and the possibility for modern engines to become entangled in the sargassum, stranding most vessels. Thus, it is sometimes called the "graveyard of ships."

The Sargasso Sea was the subject of a recent metagenomics effort called the Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) survey, by J. Craig Venter and others, to evaluate the diversity of microbial life there. The results have indicated that, unlike previously thought, the area has a wide variety of prokaryotic life.
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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2008, 04:43:28 pm »



The ocean currents of the North Atlantic Gyre
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 04:44:45 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2008, 04:46:09 pm »








The Sargasso Sea is an elongated region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ocean currents. On the west it is bounded by the Gulf Stream. On the north, by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, by the Canary Current; and on the south, by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. This system of currents forms the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre.

The Sargasso is roughly 700 statute miles wide and 2,000 statute miles long (1,100 km wide and 3,200 km long). It stretches from roughly 70 degrees west to 40 degrees west, and from 25 degrees north to 35 degrees north. Bermuda is near the western fringes of the sea.

The Sargasso Sea is the only "sea" without shores.


Portuguese sailors were among the first to discover this region in the 15th century, although it may have been known to earlier mariners, as a poem by the late 4th century AD author Rufus Festus Avienus describes a portion
of the Atlantic as being covered with seaweed, citing a now-lost account by the 5th-century BC Carthaginian explorer Himilco. Christopher Columbus and his men also noted the Sargasso Sea, and brought reports of the masses of seaweed on the surface.
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2008, 04:52:26 pm »



An image of the distribution and size of eel larvae shows the approximate location of the Sargasso Sea.








The very salty Sargasso Sea is sometimes regarded as being lifeless[citation needed], though it is home to some seaweed of the genus Sargassum. This seaweed floats en masse on the surface there.

The Sargasso Sea also plays a major role in the migration of the European eel and the American eel. The larvae of both species hatch there and go to Europe and/or the East Coast of North America. Later in life, they try to return to the Sargasso Sea to lay eggs. It is also believed that after hatching, young Loggerhead Sea Turtles use currents such as the Gulf Stream to travel to the Sargasso Sea where they use the Sargassum as cover from predation until they are mature.

The Sargasso Sea was the subject of a recent metagenomics effort called the Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) survey, by J. Craig Venter and others, to evaluate the diversity of microbial life there. The results have indicated that, contrary to previous theories, the area has a wide variety of prokaryotic life.

Owing to surface currents, the Sargasso accumulates a high concentration of non-biodegradable plastic waste.  This huge vortex of garbage is similar to the similar ocean phenomena, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2008, 04:58:18 pm »



Glass eels at the transition between ocean and freshwater;
the skin is still transparent and the red gills and the heart are visible;
length ca. 8 cm
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2008, 05:03:11 pm »










The Sargasso Sea is often portrayed in literature and the media as an area of mystery.

It can be depicted as a "sea within a sea" in the midst of the freezing Northern Atlantic ocean. Whirlpool-like currents and/or the seaweed are reputed to becalm ships, while other forces can even lead to the disappearance of airplanes in the segment of it that is known as the Bermuda Triangle.

Edwin Corley's novel Sargasso revolves around Apollo 19 splashing down in the Sargasso sea empty.

In Marvel 1602, this is where the Fantastick Four gained their powers.

The first episode of the 1960s animated series Jonny Quest (Mystery of the Lizardmen takes place
in the Sargasso Sea.

Jean Rhys's Novel Wide Sargasso Sea plays with the idea that a woman can become lost in her own society and thus driven out of her mind ala Bronte's 'mad women in the attic.' This novel takes up the life of the crazed woman in the attic in Bronte's novel Jane Eyre.

Some people say that Atlantis was in the Sargasso sea, because the gulf stream has a big spot where there is no stream, suggesting that an obstruction was there. The European and American eel migrate there.

The story goes that this was because the terrain beneath the Sargasso sea is flat and has cracks like there were rivers some time before Atlantis was there, and the eels migrated in the rivers of Atlantis.



Retrieved from
wikipedia.com
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Bianca
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2008, 05:11:27 pm »










                                           T H E   B E R M U D A   T R I A N G L E





The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean in which a number of aircraft and surface vessels have disappeared or are alleged to have disappeared.

Some people have claimed that these disappearances fall beyond the boundaries of human error or acts of nature.

Popular culture has attributed some of these disappearances to the paranormal, a suspension of the laws of physics, or activity by extraterrestrial beings.

Though a substantial body of documentation exists showing numerous incidents to have been inaccurately reported or embellished by later authors, and numerous official agencies have gone on record as stating the number and nature of disappearances to be similar to any other area of ocean, many have remained unexplained despite considerable investigation.
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2008, 05:22:44 pm »



The area of the Triangle varies by author.
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2008, 05:43:22 pm »









The boundaries of the Triangle vary with the author:

 some stating its shape is akin to a trapezoid covering the Straits of Florida, the Bahamas and the entire Caribbean island area and the Atlantic east to the Azores;

others add to it the Gulf of Mexico.

The more familiar, triangular boundary in most written works has as its points somewhere on the
Atlantic coast of Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda, with most of the accidents concentrated along the southern boundary around the Bahamas and the Florida Straits.

 
The area is one of the most heavily-sailed shipping lanes in the world, with ships crossing through it daily for ports in the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. Cruise ships are also plentiful, and pleasure craft regularly go back and forth between Florida and the islands.

It is also a heavily flown route for commercial and private aircraft heading towards Florida, the Caribbean and South America from points north.

The Gulf Stream ocean current flows through the Triangle after leaving the Gulf of Mexico; its current
of five to six knots may have played a part in a number of disappearances. Sudden storms can and do appear and, in the summer to late fall, hurricanes strike the area.

The combination of heavy maritime traffic and tempestuous weather makes it inevitable that vessels could founder in storms and be lost without a trace – especially before improved telecommunications, radar and satellite technology arrived late in the 20th century.
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2008, 05:48:55 pm »









According to the Triangle authors, Christopher Columbus was the first person to document something strange in the Triangle, reporting that he and his crew observed


"strange dancing lights on the horizon",


flames in the sky, and at another point he wrote in his log about bizarre compass bearings in the area.

From his log book, dated October 11, 1492 he wrote:



"The land was first seen by a sailor (Rodrigo de Triana), although the Admiral at ten o'clock that evening standing on the quarter-deck saw a light, but so small a body that he could not affirm it to be land; calling to Pero Gutiérrez, groom of the King's wardrobe, he told him he saw a light, and bid him look that way, which he did and saw it; he did the same to Rodrigo Sánchez of Segovia, whom the King and Queen had sent with the squadron as comptroller, but he was unable to see it from his situation. The Admiral again perceived it once or twice, appearing like the light of a wax candle moving up and down, which some thought an indication of land. But the Admiral held it for certain that land was near..."



Modern scholars checking the original log books have surmised that the lights he saw were the cooking fires of Taino natives in their canoes or on the beach; the compass problems were the result of a false reading based on the movement of a star.

The first article of any kind in which the legend of the Triangle began appeared in newspapers by
E.V.W. Jones on September 16, 1950, through the Associated Press.

Two years later, Fate magazine published "Sea Mystery At Our Back Door", a short article by George X. Sand covering the loss of several planes and ships, including the loss of Flight 19, a group of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger bombers on a training mission. Sand's article was the first to lay out the now-familiar triangular area where the losses took place. Flight 19 alone would be covered in the April 1962 issue of American Legion Magazine.

It was claimed that the flight leader had been heard saying "We are entering white water, nothing seems right. We don't know where we are, the water is green, no white." It was also claimed that officials at the Navy board of inquiry stated that the planes "flew off to Mars." This was the first article to connect the supernatural to Flight 19, but it would take another author, Vincent Gaddis, writing in the February 1964 Argosy magazine to take Flight 19 together with other mysterious disappearances and place it under the umbrella of a new catchy name:

                                               "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle"

 he would build on that article with a more detailed book, Invisible Horizons, the next year.

Others would follow with their own works:



John Wallace Spencer (Limbo of the Lost, 1969, repr. 1973);

Charles Berlitz (The Bermuda Triangle, 1974);

Richard Winer (The Devil's Triangle, 1974),



and many others, all keeping to some of the same supernatural elements outlined by Eckert.
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2008, 05:52:27 pm »









Kusche's explanation



Lawrence David Kusche, a research librarian from Arizona State University and author of The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975) has challenged this trend.

Kusche's research revealed a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies between Berlitz's accounts
and statements from eyewitnesses, participants, and others involved in the initial incidents. He noted cases where pertinent information went unreported, such as the disappearance of round-the-world yachtsman Donald Crowhurst, which Berlitz had presented as a mystery, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Another example was the ore-carrier Berlitz recounted as lost without trace three days out of an Atlantic port when it had been lost three days out of a port with the same name in the Pacific Ocean.

 Kusche also argued that a large percentage of the incidents which have sparked the Triangle's mysterious influence actually occurred well outside it. Often his research was surprisingly simple:
he would go over period newspapers and see items like weather reports that were never mentioned
in the stories.



Kusche came to a conclusion:

The number of ships and aircraft reported missing in the area was not significantly greater, proportionally speaking, than in any other part of the ocean.

In an area frequented by tropical storms, the number of disappearances that did occur were, for the most part, neither disproportionate, unlikely, nor mysterious; furthermore, Berlitz and other writers
would often fail to mention such storms.

The numbers themselves had been exaggerated by sloppy research. A boat listed as missing would be reported, but its eventual (if belated) return to port may not have been reported.

Some disappearances had in fact, never happened. One plane crash was said to have taken place in 1937 off Daytona Beach, Florida, in front of hundreds of witnesses; a check of the local papers revealed nothing.



Kusche concluded that:

The Legend of the Bermuda Triangle is a manufactured mystery… perpetuated by writers who either purposely or unknowingly made use of misconceptions, faulty reasoning, and sensationalism.

§Epilogue, p. 277
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2008, 05:58:04 pm »










The marine insurer Lloyd's of London has determined the Triangle to be no more dangerous than any other area of ocean, and does not charge unusual rates for passage through the region. United States Coast Guard records confirm their conclusion. In fact, the number of supposed disappearances is relatively insignificant considering the number of ships and aircraft which pass through on a regular
basis.

The Coast Guard is also officially skeptical of the Triangle, noting that they collect and publish, through their inquiries, much documentation contradicting many of the incidents written about by the Triangle authors.

In one such incident involving the 1972 explosion and sinking of the tanker V.A. Fogg in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard photographed the wreck and recovered several bodies, in contrast with one Triangle author's claim that all the bodies had vanished, with the exception of the captain, who was found sitting in his cabin at his desk, clutching a coffee cup.

The NOVA / Horizon episode The Case of the Bermuda Triangle (1976-06-27) was highly critical, stating that "When we've gone back to the original sources or the people involved, the mystery evaporates. Science does not have to answer questions about the Triangle because those questions are not valid in the first place. ... Ships and planes behave in the Triangle the same way they behave everywhere else in the world."

Skeptical researchers, such as Ernest Taves and Barry Singer, have noted how mysteries and the paranormal are very popular and profitable. This has led to the production of vast amounts of material on topics such as the Bermuda Triangle. They were able to show that some of the pro-paranormal material is often misleading or inaccurate, but its producers continue to market it. Accordingly, they have claimed that the market is biased in favour of books, TV specials, etc. which support the Triangle mystery, and against well-researched material if it espouses a skeptical viewpoint.

Finally, if the Triangle is assumed to cross land, such as parts of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, or Bermuda itself, there is no evidence for the disappearance of any land-based vehicles or persons. The city of Freeport, located inside the Triangle, operates a major shipyard and an airport which annually handles 50,000 flights, and is visited by over a million tourists a year.
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2008, 05:59:19 pm »




Worldwide distribution of confirmed or inferred offshore gas hydrate-bearing sediments, 1996.

Source: USGS








                                              N A T U R A L   E X P L A N A T I O N S






Methane hydrates


 
An explanation for some of the disappearances has focused on the presence of vast fields of methane hydrates on the continental shelves.

Laboratory experiments carried out in Australia have proven that bubbles can, indeed, sink a scale model ship by decreasing the density of the water; any wreckage consequently rising to the surface would be rapidly dispersed by the Gulf Stream.

It has been hypothesized that periodic methane eruptions (sometimes called "mud volcanoes") may produce regions of frothy water that are no longer capable of providing adequate buoyancy for ships. If this were the case, such an area forming around a ship could cause it to sink very rapidly and without warning.

A white paper was published in 1981 by the United States Geological Survey about the appearance of hydrates in the Blake Ridge area, off the southeastern United States coast.  However, according to a USGS web page, no large releases of gas hydrates are believed to have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle for the past 15,000 years.
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2008, 06:09:39 pm »



False-color image of the Gulf Stream flowing north through the western Atlantic Ocean.

(NASA)








Compass variations



Compass problems are one of the cited phrases in many Triangle incidents.

Some have theorized the possibility of unusual local magnetic anomalies in the area, however these have not been shown to exist.

It should also be remembered that compasses have natural magnetic variations in relation to the Magnetic poles. For example, in the United States the only places where magnetic (compass) north and geographic (true) north are exactly the same are on a line running from Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico.

Navigators have known this for centuries.

But the public may not be as informed and think there is something mysterious about the compass "changing" across an area as large as the Triangle, which it naturally will.
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2008, 06:18:53 pm »









Hurricanes



Hurricanes are powerful storms which are spawned in tropical waters, and have historically been responsible for thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars in damage.

The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla's Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of a destructive hurricane.

These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Triangle.





Gulf Stream



The Gulf Stream is an ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, and then through the Straits of Florida, into the North Atlantic. In essence, it is a river within an ocean, and like a river, it can and does carry floating objects.

A small plane making a water landing or a boat having engine trouble will be carried away from its reported position by the current, as happened to the cabin cruiser Witchcraft on December 22, 1967, when it reported engine trouble near the Miami buoy marker one mile (1.6 km) from shore, but was not there when a Coast Guard cutter arrived.





Freak waves
Rogue wave
(oceanography)



Extremely large waves can appear seemingly at random, even in calm seas.

One such rogue wave caused the Ocean Ranger, then the world's largest offshore platform, to capsize off the coast of Newfoundland in 1982.

There is, however, no particular reason to believe rogue waves are more common in the Bermuda
region and this explanation cannot account for the loss of airplanes.
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