Tag Archives: Pacific Ocean

The Devil’s Triangle

27 Mar

Almost everyone knows stories about the Bermuda Triangle; the sea between the three points of Bermuda, Florida, and Puerto Rico which is apparently responsible for the demise of many ships and planes due to ‘mysterious circumstances’. However, hardly anyone has heard of the allegedly equally-dangerous Devil’s Triangle (otherwise known as the Devil’s Sea or the Dragon’s Triangle).

This particular ‘triangle’ has apparently claimed the lives of many people over the years, and stories hold that some supernatural force causes ships to disappear. There have been claims that other paranormal events occur in this region too, like time lapses and electronic malfunction. Some people also believe they have seen UFOs in the area. Also, the ‘Dragon’s Triangle’ name apparently originates from ancient tales of fire-breathing dragons being in the area.

Japanese dragon painting by Ogato Gekko. Credit: Adam Cuerden

Japanese dragon painting by Ogato Gekko. Credit: Adam Cuerden

So, where exactly is the Devil’s Triangle? The location differs depending on who you ask, but it is thought to be somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, anywhere between 100 – 1300 km from Japan. That’s not exactly specific… however, most believe that the Devil’s Triangle is close to the Izu Islands, a chain of islands not too far south of Tokyo.

Map of the Izu Islands

Map of the Izu Islands

I wasn’t able to find any sources as to where the legend first definitively arose, aside from the ancient dragon legends, but a lot of it had to do with a book written by Charles Berlitz, called ‘The Dragon’s Triangle’. In this book, Berlitz claimed that Japan had officially declared the area a danger zone after they lost 700 people from military ships during 1952-1954. The ships apparently vanished into thin air, at which point Berlitz claims the Japanese government sent a research ship with 100 people to investigate. This research vessel promptly vanished too.

Now, this legend would be very spooky… if there were actually any truth to it. The oceans around Japan are known for their seismic and volcanic activity, so disappearances of ships/boats isn’t exactly an abnormal occurrence. The ‘fire-breathing dragons’ of the ancient legends could have just been volcanoes.

Credit: Oliver Spalt

Credit: Oliver Spalt

Also, it seems that Berlitz sensationalized the whole issue, along with simply making stuff up. The research ship, the Kaiyo Maru No. 5, actually only had 31 people aboard, and was found to have been destroyed by a volcanic eruption while it was investigating an underwater volcano. The military vessels that Berlitz referred to were actually just fishing vessels, and he conveniently ignored the fact that hundreds of fishing vessels are lost over the years in all different regions of the Pacific, not just the Izu Islands region.

I love reading about weird and creepy things, so it would be great if the stories surrounding the Devil’s Triangle were true. But, unfortunately, it seems like it is just another story that was made up to entertain people, or perhaps warn them about the real (seismic/volcanic) dangers of the area.

The Bloop – No Longer a Mystery

23 Mar

The infamously-named ‘Bloop’ refers to to an ultra-low frequency underwater sound that was detected in 1997, by the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The sound was traced to the southern Pacific Ocean and was extremely powerful; far too loud to be a blue whale or some such other large ocean creature that we know of.


For several years, it was considered to be one of the strangest unexplained underwater mysteries in the world, because no one knew what it was. At first, scientists attributed it to the sound of ‘ice calving’, a process that involves enormous chunks of ice breaking away from glaciers or other icy shelves. However, the sound was considered to be more likely to have originated from an animal, because its frequency was more similar to those of other marine animals, only much louder.

So, was it a mistake on the hydrophone (the machine used to monitor marine sounds)? Or, was it indicative of some terrifyingly large monster lurking the depths of the ocean, far larger than we could imagine?

Unfortunately for mystery-lovers, it was neither. Scientists later found that the sound was coming from something called ‘icequakes’; a seismic event caused by movement of glaciers or icebergs. As much as I would have liked to believe that Cthulu was roaming the oceans and finally been recorded, it seems that this mystery can be firmly categorised as solved. You can listen to ‘The Bloop’ on the Wikipedia entry here.

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