About That New Bermuda Triangle Theory ...

This is the famous triangle we've spent so much time worrying about. Majestic/Wikimedia Commons

The Bermuda Triangle is a region that hardly requires an introduction. This three-cornered navigational menace stretches from the tip of Florida to Puerto Rico and to the island of Bermuda, and is reputably responsible for the mysterious disappearance of numerous aircraft and ships throughout history.

Conspiracy theorists and pseudoscientists have long blamed these disappearances on everything from alien visitation to supernatural forces, and scientists come up with new theories every couple of years.

In 2016, scientists thought the cause was these weirdly-shaped clouds. Satellite meteorologists observing the region have noticed a prevalent weather phenomenon there that involves highly unusual, sharply hexagonal clouds. A closer look at what was happening within these hexagons, which measure from 25-55 miles across, revealed that they could be a symptom of sudden microbursts. It's as if all the air in the sky suddenly drops, like a bomb.

"These types of hexagonal shapes over the ocean are in essence air bombs," explained meteorologist Randy Cerveny. "They are formed by what are called microbursts, blasts of air that come down out of the bottom of a cloud and then hit the ocean and then create waves that can sometimes be massive in size as they start to interact with each other."

Sea level winds underneath the air bombs can reach 170 miles per hour. That's equivalent to gusts experienced in a Category 5 hurricane. Meanwhile, waves reaching 45 feet high can form fairly suddenly, which could surely sink an unprepared ship.

Unfortunately this theory didn't hold up under scrutiny. Later that year, when meteorologists compared the Bermuda Triangle clouds to North Sea clouds that did show underlying gusts, they found too many missing elements, including an extremely large thunderstorm with no holes in it.

What about that new theory I heard about?

More recently, scientists at University of Southampton dug into the idea of rogue waves, part of a documentary called "The Bermuda Triangle Enigma." The science behind the theory is interesting enough; it looks at "rogue waves" caused by a convergence of storms and how ships respond to them. It makes for great television and great theorizing.

But there's only one problem: There is no Bermuda Triangle.

It's not recognized by the National Ocean Service, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration better known as NOAA. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard concur. Even the insurer Lloyd's of London says the area is no more dangerous than other areas with similar traffic.

So now that we've let the wind out of that balloon, we're going back to watch the live kitten cam until someone comes up with a new theory.