Now you see it… now you don’t! At least that’s what some people think happens to ships and airplanes that travel through a certain stretch of the Atlantic Ocean.

Although you won’t find the Bermuda Triangle on any map, those words still make pilots and sailors uneasy. Many people believe there is an area of the Atlantic Ocean responsible for the unexplained disappearance of hundreds of aircraft and boats.

This area — called the “Bermuda Triangle” — is roughly defined by an imaginary triangle that connects Miami, Florida to the islands of Bermuda and San Juan, Puerto Rico. This area is sometimes called “The Devil’s Triangle” or “The Hoodoo Sea.”

Of course, the exact size of the Bermuda Triangle depends on whom you talk to. The smallest area ever defined is at least 500,000 square miles. Some people believe the Bermuda Triangle is as large as 1.5 million square miles.

Any way you define it, though, you’re talking about a lot of ocean water. It is in that area of water that many people believe an unusually high number of unexplained disappearances of airplanes, ships and people have occurred.

The name “Bermuda Triangle” was first used in a 1964 article in Argosy magazine. The legend of the area reaches back a lot further than that, though.

Legend has it that Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on one of his early voyages. He reportedly encountered problems with his compass and saw mysterious lights.

Probably the most famous Bermuda Triangle mystery, though, is the disappearance of Flight 19 in 1945. On December 5 of that year, five U.S. Navy Avenger bombers disappeared without a trace while on a routine training mission.

A rescue plane sent to search for survivors or wreckage also disappeared. In total, six airplanes and 27 men appear to have vanished.

To make the mystery even more unusual, an underwater explorer thought he found the underwater wreckage of the planes in 1991. When the planes were identified, however, they weren’t the planes from Flight 19. They were other military aircraft that had crashed at some other time in the same area!

So is the Bermuda Triangle haunted? Is it the secret home of aliens or unidentified flying objects (UFOs)? Does a mysterious sea creature lurk in its depths?

Scientists who have studied the area would say “no.” Researchers have found that many of the supposed “mysteries” of the Bermuda Triangle occurred in other parts of the ocean, as well.

They also discovered that many accidents happened during bad weather conditions, which are common in the area. Researchers also believe there are valid reasons for why wreckage from accidents in the area can be hard to find.

The Gulf Stream runs through the Bermuda Triangle, and its swift currents can quickly move debris away from the scene of an accident. The Bermuda Triangle is also home to the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean.

So should you be afraid to fly or sail through the Bermuda Triangle? Not at all!

Research reveals that the actual number of accidents in the area is similar to other parts of the ocean. Today, the Bermuda Triangle is traveled frequently by boats and airplanes — almost all of which return safely!

 

77 Join the Discussion

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  1. Sounds spooky! If I were an airplane pilot, then I might try flying over the Bermuda Triangle. I like this wonder because I learned something new. I never knew anything about the Bermuda Triangle. By the way wonderopolis, are we allowed to give you wonders about what to write next?

    • We’re SO GLAD you asked that question, Zaid! Did you know you can give us ideas for future Wonders of the Day® ANYTIME one pops into your head? All you have to do is click on the “nominate” link at the top of every page in Wonderopolis and write your ideas! It’s an easy and fun way to let us know what you’re WONDERing! :-)

  2. That was a very interesting video. I think there may be big suctions under the water that sucks the boats down under the water. I am sure you can write mystery books about the Bermuda Triangle. Why has the US Navy not sent ships in to investigate and figure out what is happening?

    • That’s a very interesting theory, Kayla! We know that the military sent planes to investigate, but it would take some further investigation to find out whether or not they sent any ships. We think it would be fun to write a mystery book about the Bermuda Triangle. What do you think a good title for that book might be?

    • We’re sorry this Wonder was scary to you, Sarah. We know that the Bermuda Triangle is something a LOT of people WONDER about. They wonder what happened to those people who disappeared, too, and that is what makes it so mysterious and a little scary. Thank you for letting us know what you thought about this Wonder of the Day®!

    • Hi, Kyle! Nobody really knows for sure how those planes and ships disappeared over the years. Different investigators and scientists have theories, but none have been able to prove for a fact what really happened. That’s what makes the Bermuda Triangle a mystery and something that people will always talk and WONDER about. Thank you for leaving us a comment today and for visiting Wonderopolis! :-)

  3. Hooray for the BES students upstairs and downstairs! I learned so many exciting facts about the Bermuda Triangle also. I always wondered what happen to the planes and I have to admit it scares me a little also. I do find the inquiry of the area amazing and that we still have some unanswered questions as smart as we are today with technology. Great WONDER and yes I am still WONDERING.

    • We agree, Maria, those BES students ROCK! We’re glad you learned some new things about the Bermuda Triangle, too! It’s important for students to know that teachers learn and wonder…just like they do! Thanks for letting them see that with your awesome comment! :-)

  4. What a great wonder!!! The video was very good and the information was easy to understand. Some of us have family members who are or were in the armed forces so this topic sparked our interest right away. We still wonder what happened to the 6 airplanes and 27 men from Flight 19 though…. :)

    • We wonder that, too, Kerrick Elementary School! We may never know. We thought it was interesting that searchers found a plane that wasn’t even the one they were looking for! That just adds to the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. :-)

  5. Hi this is Haley from Mrs. Caplin’s class!!!! I learned that the Bermuda triangle is 1.5 million square miles long!!!!!! It’s freaky that happens! You really made me wonder! It is also the deepest point of the Atlantic ocean! How many planes or boats vanished there???

    • Hi, Haley! Thanks for your enthusiasm for this Wonder of the Day®! We appreciate it very much! We’re not sure how many total planes and boats have vanished in the Bermuda Triangle over the years, but we think even one plane or boat is too many! You are very lucky to have Mrs. Caplin as your teacher. She is pretty WONDERful, isn’t she? :-)

  6. Dear Wonderopolis,
    I like this video because it is about the ocean and it is a mystery. Do you have any other information on the Bermuda Triangle?

    • Hi, Lilly! Thanks for letting us know that you liked the video for this Wonder! There is LOTS of information out there about the Bermuda Triangle. There are books, videos and websites! You can search for more information at your public library, too! :-)

  7. Dear Wonderopolis,
    I like this video because it is very mysterious. I think the Bermuda Triangle is very cool and interesting. Do you know if anyone has ever found any parts of the boats or airplanes?

    • Hi, Riley! Thanks so much for letting us know you liked the video for this Wonder! We’re not sure of all the searches and discoveries that have happened as a result of planes and boats vanishing in the Bermuda Triangle. We’re not sure if anyone really does! We think that adds to the mystery, don’t you? :-)

  8. Hi, Wonderopolis! I really liked your video because it gives important details and information and I am very, very happy to see this video because it made me learn something new. I really feel sad about the plane 19 and the other planes and ships.

    I have a question. Today, my teacher gave me your Bermuda Triangle paper (he printed it). The paper said don’t be afraid to go to the Bermuda Triangle, and it also said that the Triangle is just like the other seas. Those are the two questions I had in my Wondermind.

    • Thanks for such an awesome comment and for letting us know that you learned some new things about the Bermuda Triangle, Viraj! Please tell your teacher we appreciate him encouraging you to visit Wonderopolis! He sounds like a pretty smart guy! :-)

  9. I just read a book called Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. In it, Percy and his friends, Anabeth, Grover and Tyson visit some place in the ocean called the sea of monsters. I’m not sure if its true or not, but they said that the sea of monsters is located in the Bermuda Triangle. The book is really good and I HIGHLY recommend it to you.

    • Thank you so much for suggesting we read the Percy Jackson book, Anna Grace! We will have to read it sometime very soon! We appreciate you sharing what you read in the book with others and relating it back to this Wonder of the Day® about the Bermuda Triangle! You are a GREAT Wonder Friend! :-)

  10. I hope you enjoy. Very good. I love the link 10 deadliest snakes. Wonderful job and happy early birthday, Wonderopolis!

  11. Hi there!

    We enjoyed the video and the article. The one thing we enjoyed the most was finding out how the Bermuda Triangle got its name.

    We are curious to know (though there’s probably not an answer!) if there is a mysterious sea creature in the deepest part of the ocean, even if it’s not involved in the mysteries of the Triangle.

    Our question is, why would some mapmakers include the Bermuda Triangle and some would not?

    We loved this mystery!

    From,
    J, A, B, S, S & Mrs. Taylor
    Sells Middle School

    • Thank you so much for leaving us this GREAT comment today, J, A, B, S, S & Mrs. Taylor! We love hearing about all the extra “WONDERing” that goes on once our Wonder Friends have finished exploring each day’s Wonder of the Day®! Your questions about a mysterious sea creature and the exclusion of the Bermuda Triangle on some maps are very interesting! We will have to do some more research on those!

      Did you know there is a past Wonder of the Day about MAPS? It’s Wonder #55 – HOW ARE MAPS MADE? You can explore it here: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-are-maps-made/

      Thanks again for your awesome comment! :-)

    • It makes us very happy to hear that you liked the video for this Wonder, Michael! Thank you for letting us know! :-)

    • Hi, Michael! The Bermuda Triangle is very mysterious, so we looked for a video for this Wonder of the Day® that would add to the mystery! Your comment helps us know that we did a good job! Thank you! :-)

  12. I thought the wonder about the Bermuda triangle was a little bit creepy from it saying that people suddenly vanished from thin air!!!!!!! Also, they said it was about 500,000 square miles!!!!!! (1.5 million square miles !!!!!!! )

    • Sometimes wondering about scary or creepy things can be a good thing, Alexandra! If we WONDER, we want to learn more, more, MORE! Plus, if we learn as much as we can about something we’re afraid of, it might make it a little less scary for us! We’re so glad you stopped by Wonderopolis today and left us this great comment! :-)

  13. This was a very interesting wonder! I had no idea there was even such thing as the Bermuda Triangle! Now that I know, I learned a lot about it. It is crazy how things like this can happen! I watched this video with my brother and he couldn’t believe it either. It’s fun learning new things even if they are as creepy as the Bermuda Triangle! I learned that the Bermuda Triangle is a point in the ocean that causes many boats, planes, and even people to disappear out of thin air! People believe it is about 500,00 square miles! This definitely made me wonder!:)

    • We think it is really WONDERful that you shared this Wonder of the Day® with your brother, Sarah! Thanks for the awesome comment and for letting us know you learned a few new things about the Bermuda Triangle! :-)

  14. I love wonderopolis! It is so cool learning about things that you have never wondered about before and actually getting to learn so many cool things about that topic! Honestly, I would never have looked up facts about the Bermuda Triangle, but after wonder 356 I really would like to learn more! Thanks, Wonderopolis!

    • That’s what we like to hear, Amanda! Your comment made us very happy, as we really enjoy hearing that our Wonder Friends are inspired to wonder even MORE after they explore a Wonder of the Day®! Thanks for being such an inspiration to us here in Wonderopolis! :-)

  15. WOW!! The story about the Bermuda Triangle was amazing. I have always wondered about the Bermuda Triangle and thought it was interesting. After watching the video and reading about it on Wonderopolis, I think it is really unbelievable that there could possibly be a time warp or sea creatures in this area. I really loved this Wonder! Thanks:)

    • We’re so happy to hear that you liked this Wonder, Haley! We’re glad you liked the video, too! Sometimes mysterious things (like the Bermuda Triangle) make us WONDER, WONDER, WONDER! That’s a GOOD thing! :-)

  16. Scary and creepy. It does not make people disappear again? Well, I do think it makes people disappear. How do you make the smiley face?

    • Thanks for leaving us another great comment, Natalia! Stories and videos about the Bermuda Triangle can be a bit scary, we agree! We think it is fun to learn about mysterious things sometimes, don’t you? :-)

      To make the smiley face, you type a colon and an ending parenthesis. : + ) = :)

  17. The Bermuda Triangle is awesome and scary. Does anyone who goes into it come out? Because if they do, they could tell what happened.

    • That’s a really great question, Colleen! We haven’t heard any stories from people who have disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle and then reappeared later. We agree, it would be quite interesting to talk with someone who had gone through that experience! :-)

  18. Hi wonderopolis the video was amazing. I never new there where so many occurrences in the Bermuda triangle. I find it strange there is no debris after all of those airplane crashes and ship wrecks. I never knew there where so many stories about the Bermuda triangle and I thought the Bermuda triangle 45 million miles squared.
    Are there records that show people that cross the Bermuda. Thanks for all of your help learning about the Bermuda triangle.

    • We think the mysterious Bermuda Triangle was REALLY fun to learn about, Team McNeil 5, and we’re happy that you thought so, too! Thanks for letting us know you thought the video was amazing…we appreciate hearing that! :-)

    • We’re glad you had some background knowledge about the Bermuda Triangle before you explored this Wonder, Julie! We think that’s AWESOME! :-)

  19. I think it is fun to stretch the imagination with these kinds of mysteries, but it’s also important to balance with the known facts, especially when it is scary to kids. Please add footnotes or references (Wikipedia is just a start) so kids can see that this is mostly, if not all, just a myth.

    • Hello, Vivian! We appreciate your comment and respect your opinion about our Bermuda Triangle Wonder of the Day®. Thank you for sharing your concern for our younger Wonder Friends! :-)

  20. Hi Wonderopolis Crew! We really liked your wonder on the Bermuda Triangle! We have a question for you. Is it true that a crew of pilots once went through the triangle only to return back as skeletons? Or is this a rumor? We think that Columbus wrote in his journal that he saw a huge light come up out of the ocean and then flew away! Has anyone ever tracked birds or aquatic organisms to see if they too disappear when there? Are there leads from the Bermuda Triangle to Supernatural beings? Thanks for the Wonder!

    • There are so many rumors that surround the Bermuda Triangle, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s a legend! We’re happy that our Wonder Friends from Team Wilch are thinking about all the reasons the Triangle could cause such a stir! It’s a mystery to us! We bet there is a lot of research about the Triangle– we’d love to hear about what you find! :)

  21. Hi Wonderopolis! We have questions for you about your Wonder! When you say that it wasn’t flight 19 wreckage found, but some other planes, what war were the planes from and what did they find in the planes? Is it a coincidence that the planes disappear here? How do people in Miami swim in the ocean and not worry about getting sucked in? Is that a fear? We enjoyed the video! We found the number of people who disappeared interesting, what do the familes do when they never have closure for the people who have gone missing?

    • WOW, we are so impressed with all the WONDERful questions coming from Team Clark! :) The Bermuda Triangle is a confusing, intimidating idea to many travelers. There is a lot of information and opinions available about the Triangle. We bet Team Clark would do a SUPER job of WONDERing on their own about the Triangle… and what has been found from the wrecks. We’d love to hear about what you find! :)

  22. Dear Wonderopolis,

    The bermuda triangle is huge. The Bermuda triangle is wierd too. We think it is a big monster that ate all the boats and planes.

    Grant&Caden,:) :)

    • Hey there, Wonder Friends Grant and Caden! We are glad you’ve been thinking about the Bermuda Triangle– it’s a mysterious idea! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it! :)

    • Hey Cool5, thanks for visiting us today! The Bermuda Triangle is indeed a mystery– but we think it could be real! It’s tough to say without much information, but what about all those people who went missing?! We hope you’ll continue to Wonder about it– perhaps you’ll make a breakthrough discovery! See you soon, Cool5! :)

    • We love your enthusiasm, Suzanne! We hope you’ll continue to research the different explanations (and investigations) for the Bermuda Triangle mystery! Perhaps you will discover the truth behind it all! :)

  23. Cool! Very interesting! Me and my family had a lemonade stand today, but we made only 29 dollars. We were supposed to send the money to two different things, but it is not much. One girl did it and raised over $20,000. Thank you for today’s wonder!

    • WOW, that sounds like an awesome way to spend your day, Berkleigh! We are so proud of you and your family! Although $29 may not seem like a lot, we think it’s great that you made that much in just one day. We hope you pat yourselves on the back and realize how much you accomplished and learned! We are sending you a virtual high five for your hard work! Keep it up! :)

  24. I get this that there has been much research done on the Bermuda Triangle but we can see all and ships and planes go missing as soon as they enter the Bermuda Triangle I want to know whether it’s only because of a very strong and powerful magnetic field exiting down there????????

    • Hey there, Manasa! Thanks for sharing your awesome comment with us about the Bermuda Triangle! There are so many different theories about this mysterious location – perhaps you’ll figure it out! We hope you keep WONDERing and researching with us, Manasa! Great work! :)

  25. I really liked your article about the Bermuda Triangle. you can’t see a ship or plane go down are there tornados that suck the planes and ship down or extreme weather that pulls them down?

    • Thank you so much, Tyler, we’re so excited that you shared your comment with us! The Bermuda Triangle sure is a mystery – we hope we can figure it out soon! Perhaps you’ll become a scientist and you can research its history! :)

  26. I have very many theories on this e.g 11,000 years ago they believe that a comet hit the ocean where the bermuda triangle is and that caused a magnetic pull so it inter fears with navigational navigational navigational and compasses and all that type of things . also it could just be Human error ! and it just happens that planes and boats crash and sink there but the question there is where does all the wreckage go? Also that part of the ocean has gas deep down and gas bubbles could be sinking boats!!!

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Have you ever wondered…

  • How big is the Bermuda Triangle?
  • What are some other names for the Bermuda Triangle?
  • Are there any scientific explanations for the occurrences within the Bermuda Triangle?

Wonder Gallery

Night Earth. Bermuda Triangle areahhhhVimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to explore the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle in greater depth? Search for an adventurous friend or family member to share your journey as you check out one or more of the following activities:

  • Start with Discovery Channel’s How Stuff Works Tour Bermuda interactive map. You’ll be able to see a map of the area and learn more about its history.
  • When you’re finished touring the Bermuda Triangle, gather on the couch to read a scary story about The Bermuda Triangle aloud. Based upon what you’ve learned so far, can you answer some of the questions posed by the story? If you were an airplane pilot or the captain of a ship, would you be afraid to fly over or sail through the Bermuda Triangle? Why or why not? Talk with your friends and family about these types of spooky myths. Could there be any truth to them?
  • Examine the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle from a scientist’s perspective. Jump online and search for articles about scientific views of the Bermuda Triangle phenomena. What do you think? Do you think there’s a reasonable, scientific explanation for everything? Or might there be something strange going on at sea? If so, what could it possibly be? Feel free to come up with your own ideas about what might be behind the many mysteries surrounding the Bermuda Triangle. Email us your ideas. We’d love to hear what you think!

Still Wondering

Check out Illuminations’ Three Sides lesson to learn how to identify and recognize triangles using multiple representations.

 

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