British Physicist Bursts Bubble of Bermuda Triangle Methane Hydrates Theory

Physicist and oceanographer Dr. Helen Czerski.  (Image credit: BBC)

Physicist and oceanographer Dr. Helen Czerski.  (Image credit: BBC)

British physicist and oceanographer, Dr. Helen Czerski, a lecturer in the department of mechanical engineering at University College London, recently produced a video for Tech Insider that aims to debunk a popular theory surrounding unexplained disappearances associated with the Bermuda Triangle.  In the video, Dr. Czerski explains how the 'methane hydrates' theory--the idea that large fields of methane hydrates on continental shelves could release bubbles of methane that are capable of sinking ships by decreasing the density of water--simply isn't possible.

"The first thing is that this whoosh of gas is going to break up into small bubbles, really, really quickly. It doesn't rise as one massive, great big bubble." said Dr. Czerski. "It pushes up on the ship, much more strongly than the ship is falling into the bubbles. The bubbles actually make the ship go up, not down."

Unusual disappearances inside of an oceanographic triangle comprised of Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico were widely reported beginning in the mid-20th century, with many prior historical cases documented since then. A number of natural explanations have been posited for the disappearances--including compass variations, the Gulf Stream, violent weather, rogue waves, methane hydrates, and even simple human error.  There are various paranormal theories as well, and some people believe that the area is home to heretofore undiscovered interdimensional energies and vortices.  

Of course, still others insist that there is nothing special about the area at all, and a 2013 study by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that the Bermuda Triangle did not account for enough shipwrecks to be included in the top ten list of the world's most dangerous waters for shipping.  This data did not, however, account for reported anomalous phenomena surrounding flights in the area.

Tobias Wayland