The loosely defined region of the North Atlantic Ocean has been at the centre of bizarre events both on water and in the air dating back to 1492, when Christopher Columbus and Santa Maria reported a sighting of unknown light, just days before the landing at Guanahani. The vicinity of this so-called triangle is among the most heavily travelled shipping lanes in the world, with vessels frequently crossing through it for ports in the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean islands. Popular culture has attributed various disappearances to the paranormal or even some kind of colossal sea monster, but scientists think the equally mysterious Siberian sinkholes could be linked.
The three craters – one in Taymyr peninsula and two in Yamal – are believed to have been caused by huge underground gas explosions.
Known to locals as the “end of the world,” the massive craters sparked endless theories about how they got there, but scientists from the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum-Gas Geology and Geophysics, in Novosibirsk, believe that they are the result of large underground gas explosions.
In a weekly publication of Science in Siberia – a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences – researchers suggested that the methane hydrates could be responsible for the mysteries.
Scientist Vladimir Potapov said in 2014: “It turned out that there are gas hydrates both in the deep layer, which, on the peninsula, is several hundred metres down, and on the layer close to the surface.
“The crater itself is incredibly interesting from a scientific point of view.
“We all have to keep suggesting hypotheses and testing them.”
Igor Yeltsov, the Trofimuk Institute’s deputy head, said there was a theory that the Bermuda Triangle is caused by gas hydrates, which in turn caused “an extremely turbulent atmosphere”.
“They start to actively decompose with methane ice turning into gas.
“It happens in an avalanche-like way, like a nuclear reaction, producing huge amounts of gas.
“That makes the ocean heat up, and ships sink in waters which are infused with huge amounts of gas.
“This leads to the air becoming supersaturated with methane, creating an extremely turbulent atmosphere, leading to aircraft crashes.”
Reporting the claims, the journal dubbed the craters “a distant relative of the Bermuda Triangle”.
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Oleg Kushnarenko, chief engineer of a mission which lasted four days, added: “We checked magnetic and radiation backgrounds, and found no abnormalities there.”
The sinkholes were first discovered in July 2014 after an unexplained eruption that flung soil and rock 120 metres from the site.
It was initially thought it might be related to fossil fuel exploration, as it is 25 miles from the largest gas field in the region, but after a radar scan of the ground, the team said it was most likely to be due to natural causes that would require further research.
Two more unexplained sinkholes have since emerged in the far north of Russia.
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