On December 5, 1945, five Navy planes took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a training mission. They flew over the Bermuda Triangle. The men, along with the planes, disappeared and were never seen again. From that day forward, people became fascinated with the Bermuda Triangle.

Over the years, numerous ships and aircraft have vanished with no apparent explanation. Are you WONDERing what the Bermuda Triangle is all about? Can humans ever survive a trip to the Bermuda Triangle?

There are many theories that try to explain the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the Atlantic Ocean that is twice the size of Texas. That's about 500,000 square miles.

The Bermuda Triangle has a triangular shape with ends — geometry teachers would call them vertices — in Miami, Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. Within this triangle of water, compasses often act strangely.

Most compasses don't point directly north toward the North Pole. Instead, they point to something called “magnetic north," which is in Canada. In the Bermuda Triangle, however, a compass will often point directly to the North Pole. That's mysterious!

Many people consider the Bermuda Triangle a dangerous place because of the people, airplanes, and ships that have vanished there for no apparent reason. One such incident occurred on March 18, 1918. The U.S.S. Cyclops, a large Navy cargo ship carrying over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese, sank in the Bermuda Triangle. The crew never called for help, and the wreckage of the ship was never found.

In August 1920, 11 crew members set sail on a ship called the Carroll A. Deering. They left Maine for a long voyage to South America. On their return trip to Maine, they stopped at Barbados on January 9, 1921. Twenty-two days later, their ship was discovered floating near the coast of North Carolina. Everyone on the ship had disappeared! No one ever heard a radio call for help from the ship. What happened to the crew? Why didn't they call for help?

On December 28, 1948, Captain Robert Lindquist was flying from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Miami, Florida, on flight NC-16002. The aircraft had been having electrical and battery difficulties. When the flight was about 50 miles from Miami, Lindquist radioed the Miami airport to ask for landing instructions. When the airport responded with directions, there was no reply. The plane had disappeared!

There are many more mysterious incidents and unexplained disappearances besides these tragic stories. People have come up with many eccentric theories about the Bermuda Triangle. Some people believe aliens have abducted ships and planes. Other people believe that, in ancient times, the lost city of Atlantis sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean beneath the Bermuda Triangle. They think there are energy crystals in Atlantis that can confuse the controls on ships and planes. These theories are really outrageous!

There are also some believable theories to explain the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. First, human beings make mistakes. It is possible that captains and pilots accidentally sank their ships or crashed their planes due to errors or miscalculations.

Secondly, there are often weird weather patterns in the Bermuda Triangle. Strong and highly dangerous storms can cause disasters. Also, since compasses often point directly to the North Pole rather than magnetic north, it can confuse planes and boats in the Bermuda Triangle. Some scientists believe that these magnetic forces can disrupt the controls and the radios of planes and ships, causing them to crash or sink. Many accept these theories as ways to explain the strange disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle.

So far, scientists have not come up with clear reasons to explain the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. If you plan to travel across this stretch of water, don't worry. Most planes and ships don't crash or sink, and most travelers survive a trip through the Bermuda Triangle. But if you fly over this mysterious place, look out the window to see if you can see the remnants of the lost city of Atlantis lurking beneath the waters! And don't forget to check for aliens floating above you in their spaceships!

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Tomorrow's Wonder of the Day may have you asking, “Who?”