Marjor Part Of Bermuda
Triangle Mystery May Be Solved
By Nick Parker
The wreck of a British trawler believed to have been sunk by a gigantic bubble of gas could solve the mystery of the legendary Bermuda Triangle.
Scientists found the boat, believed to have gone missing around 70 years ago, 450ft down last week. It was lying almost untouched - the right way up and with its nets still attached - on a craggy patch called Witch's Hole 100 miles off Aberdeen.
Now experts say it was almost certainly doomed by methane gas bubbling from the sea bed there. The rising gas reduced the density of the sea water so much that the fishing boat was no longer able to stay afloat. It disappeared down the gas "hole" like a lift descending down a shaft.
And sailors jumping overboard would have done the same.
Scientists say a similar phenomenon may explain why dozens of ships have sunk in the region in the Atlantic known as the Bermuda Triangle.
It too has areas where methane escapes from the sea bed.
The 300-metre wide site where the Scottish boat was found is one of a number of "pockmarks" caused by gas.
Pictures from a robot submarine showed that the 75ft steel vessel - built between 1890 and 1930 - came to rest over the exact spot where methane escaped.
Marine geologist Alan Judd, leading the investigation, said the chances of that happening are 10,000 to one.
Mr Judd, from the University of Sunderland, said: "Any ship caught above would sink.
"People jumping overboard in lifejackets would sink too.
"It is possible that a similar mechanism is responsible for the Bermuda Triangle.
"Gas hydrates are found in that area."
Details of his investigation appear in New Scientist magazine and will feature in a documentary.
Dr Judd added: "When gas blow-outs occur during off-shore drilling there have been numerous occasions when floating rigs have sunk.
"I've even met a few people who have been on ships that have encountered gas and lost buoyancy. It wasn't enough to sink them, but the ship dropped a metre or two.
"It must have been an interesting experience."

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