Last week, it appeared that it may be a case of “mystery solved” regarding the Bermuda Triangle.
Meteorologists on the Science Channel’s “What on Earth” series studied the area located between Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda in an effort to find out why so many ships and planes disappear there.
They theorized that hexagonal clouds may create “air bombs” with strong winds that could bring down planes or capsize ships.
“The satellite imagery is really bizarre … the hexagonal shapes of the cloud formations,” said meteorologist Dr. Randy Cerveny. “These types of hexagonal shapes in the ocean are in essence air bombs. They’re formed by what is called microbursts and they’re blasts of air.”
4 Fast Facts
- Scientists cast doubt on theory behind Bermuda Triangle mystery
- Science Channel program cited hexagonal clouds that created microbursts
- Scientists said the weather phenomenon was fairly common
- An expert featured on the program said the theory isn’t a breakthrough
Those blasts are capable of reaching 170 mph—making them as powerful as a Category 5 Hurricane.
And while the theory proliferated on the internet this weekend, another meteorologist says “not so fast.”
NBC’s Kevin Corriveau didn’t find the theory all that convincing. He said the meteorologists compared cloud patterns in the Bermuda Triangle to those in the North Sea in Europe. Corriveau said the regions are too geographically different to make an apt comparison.
“I wouldn’t say what we’re seeing in the Bahamas is the exact same as in the North Sea,” he said.
“When I look at a hexagonal cloud shape in the Bahamas, this is not the cloud signature of what a microburst looks like,” he said. “You would normally have one large to extremely large thunderstorm that wouldn’t have an opening in the middle.”
Corriveau said the cause for the oddly shaped clouds could be a case of the small islands of the Bahamas heating the air differently than Florida’s coastline, resulting in an unpredictable weather pattern.
Even Cerveny, who appeared on the Science Channel program, said he was surprised with how his observations were portrayed.
“They made it appear as if I was making a big breakthrough or something,” Cerveny, a professor of geographical sciences at Arizona State University, told USA Today. “Sadly [that’s] not the case.”
Steven Miller, a scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere of Colorado State University who also appeared in the Science Channel report, said the Bermuda Triangle weather pattern cited on the program isn’t all that unusual.
“It is a common phenomenon occurring globally — most generally found at mid- to high latitude locations over the oceans, and usually during the cold season,” Miller said.