Nearly one month ago, Malaysian Airlines flight 370 vanished. But this isn't the first time a tragic disappearance has fascinated the world. A number of spots around the world are notorious for multiple, unexplained disappearances.
The waters south of Tokyo carry the sinister name the Devil's Sea, where fishing vessels and other craft have disappeared. In 1953, a research vessel with 31 scientists and crew members aboard, the Kaiyo Maru #5, sailed into the Devil’s Sea to investigate these mysterious events. The vessel then vanished without a trace.
True, the vessel never returned from its mission. But the ship's end was not mysterious: A volcano destroyed the vessel on Sept. 24, according to the website Skeptoid. The crew members were researching a recently formed volcanic island when an eruption destroyed the ship, leaving no survivors. Devil's Sea advocates also ignore the fact that the number of fishing boats lost in the region didn't exceed the number lost in other Japanese waters.
North of Reno, Nev., on the Paiute Tribe's reservation, trout fishermen vanish into the waters of Pyramid Lake nearly every spring, according to a local legend. Demonic spirits, called Water Babies, supposedly drag the anglers to their doom and the victims' bodies disappear. On the shores of Pyramid Lake, the Water Babies' crying pierces the tranquility, while the laughter of invisible children echoes off the conical rock that gave the lake its name.
Yet, if the lake actually claims a life nearly every year, why doesn't a search of the website of the local newspaper, the Reno-Gazette Journal, reveal any reports of drownings or other deaths on the lake? Perhaps a conspiracy by the Water-Baby-controlled media ...
A legend from the Chippewa tribe says the Lake Superior never gives up her dead, a mystery described in Gordon Lightfoot's “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” But the reason the lake retains its victims isn't mysterious. Instead the frigid waters of the lake slow decomposition that normally causes a body to fill with gas and float to the surface.
More than 200 ships have vanished beneath Lake Superior's surface, especially along the southern portion near Whitefish Point. Intense storms whip the lake into 30 foot tall waves that snap massive ships in two, including the 729-foot Edmund Fitzgerald. The Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve protects many of these shipwrecks, which attract scuba divers. However, other ships have disappeared without a trace.
Avenger torpedo bombers, like the ones that vanished in 1945.
The most famous site on this list may not deserve its reputation. Yes, there have been notable incidents in the Bermuda Triangle, which extends from south Florida to Bermuda to Puerto Rico, including the loss of the USS Cyclops with her 309 Navy crewmen in 1918. And five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo bomber planes vanished in 1945.
However, the Bermuda Triangle experiences severe storms, fickle weather and treacherous shallow areas, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Along with foul weather, the area serves as one of the busiest sea routes on the planet. Proportionately, the rate of ships and airplanes lost within the Triangle doesn't dramatically exceed other places. The Triangle's bad reputation didn't even form until the 1950s, and was then puffed up by exaggerated and even fabricated stories written over the next few decades.
was found in 1872, but its crew went missing.
To the east of the Bermuda Triangle, circulating currents created the Sargasso Sea. Floating seaweeds float in think mats, trapped in the strong swirling current. Mariners once feared the region and told tales of crew-less ghosts ships floating in the Sargasso Sea. In the 1840s, one such ghost ship, the Rosalie, was found sailing through the sea with no one aboard, reported CNN.
To the west of the Sargasso Sea, one of the most mysterious ghost ships in maritime history, the Mary Celeste, was found bobbing on the waves in 1872. The entire crew, along with the captain's wife and daughter, had vanished, although the ship still carried her cargo of explosive ethanol and plenty of food. A leak of that ethanol may have spooked the crew into abandoning ship, fearing an explosion. The life boat may have then sunk in a storm.
The Bermuda Triangle's northern cousin, the Michigan Triangle, stretches from Ludington to Benton Harbor, Mich., and to Manitowoc, Wisc. Ships and at least one airplane supposedly disappeared while traveling through the region. In 1891, the schooner Thomas Hume and her crew of seven sailed into the triangle, never to return and leaving no traces, according to Atlas Obscura. Then in 1921, the ship Rosa Belle was found floating capsized in the Triangle without the 11 men who had sailed on her. After flying into the triangle in 1950, Northwest Airlines Flight 2501, carrying 58 passengers, never flew out.
The Bennington Triangle in southwestern Vermont was the last place five people were seen, between 1945 and 1950. In the first incident, an 18-year-old female hiker went missing while two other hikers were only 100 yards behind her, according to the Virtual Vermonter. Then exactly three years later to the day, a man vanished from a moving bus without anyone noticing.
One logical explanation would be that a serial killer stalked the woods of Vermont. However, serial killers normally stalk particular demographic groups (such as young males in the case of Jeffrey Dahmer). The people lost in the Bennington Triangle ranged from a female 74-year-old hunting guide to an 8-year-old boy.
Simulated Van Allen Belts are generated by a plasma thruster at the Lewis Research Center, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Strange and powerful forces shroud the Earth in energy, but it's not supernatural. The Van Allen radiation belt forms a lopsided doughnut of charged particles around the planet. The belt dips closest to the Earth over South America and the Atlantic Ocean east of Brazil, a region known as the South Atlantic anomaly, according to NASA. When passing through the anomaly, the Hubble Telescope, satellites and other spacecraft receive an intense bombardment by protons, building block of atoms, at energies above 10 million electron volts.
At 200 to 800 kilometers above the surface, the anomaly shouldn't affect anything on the ground or even airplanes. However, some have blamed the 2009 crash of Air France flight 447, which killed 228 people, on the anomaly. The real reason for the disaster may have been a simple instrument malfunction that could have been corrected by a few lines of computer code, according to computer scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.