Clouds with sharp hexagonal features can cause sudden microbursts with winds over 170 mph.
The Bermuda Triangle is a region that hardly requires an introduction. This three-cornered navigational menace stretches from the tip of Florida, to Puerto Rico, and to the island of Bermuda, and is reputably responsible for the mysterious disappearance of numerous aircraft and ships throughout history.
Conspiracy theorists and pseudoscientists have long blamed these disappearances on everything from alien visitation to supernatural forces, but scientists may have finally solved the mystery, reports Aol UK.
Satellite meteorologists observing the region have noticed a prevalent weather phenomenon there that involves highly-unusual, sharply hexagonal clouds. A closer look at what was happening within these hexagons, which measure from 25-55 miles across, revealed that they were a symptom of sudden microbursts. It’s as if all the air in the sky suddenly drops, like a bomb.
“These types of hexagonal shapes over the ocean are in essence air bombs,” explained meteorologist Randy Cerveny. “They are formed by what are called microbursts, blasts of air that come down out of the bottom of a cloud and then hit the ocean and then create waves that can sometimes be massive in size as they start to interact with each other.”
Sea level winds underneath the air bombs can reach 170 miles per hour. That’s equivalent to gusts experienced in a Class 5 hurricane. Meanwhile, waves reaching 45 feet high can form fairly suddenly, which could surely sink an unprepared ship. Needless to say, any plane or ship traveling beneath one of these bursts could wreck, quickly and unexpectedly.
Although it’s impossible to say whether these hexagonal clouds were responsible for every mysterious disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle, it’s tough to deny that a phenomenon this severe could be responsible for some of them, if not most.
Interestingly, the Bermuda Triangle isn’t the only place in the solar system that experiences weird hexagonal cloud storms. A giant hexagon famously outlines the perimeter of a massive storm in the northern hemisphere of Saturn. The shape of the storm looks unnatural, much like the geometric clouds that cause microbursts here on Earth, but scientists have come to understand how this shape forms in complex weather systems.
The system on Saturn has no direct relationship to the phenomenon that occurs in the Bermuda Triangle, but it goes to show that hexagonal features in the weather are more universal than you might first think.