The Bermuda Triangle is an infamous stretch of water off of the Florida coast. The area between the Island of Bermuda, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Miami, Florida, has been home to literally dozens of crashed and disappeared ships and planes, some of which seem to have completely vanished from the face of the planet.
It’s not unreasonable to be skeptical of cosmic and extraterrestrial theories about the vast area of open ocean. All-in-all, the triangle is still one of the most heavily trafficked bodies of water and, by-and-large, most who travel through the triangle survive their journey unscathed.
Just because the triangle may (or may not) be the site of paranormal activity doesn’t mean that real danger can’t exist in this part of the Atlantic Ocean. Indeed, the Bermuda Triangle’s mythical status may contribute to the volume of attention scientist pay to this area.
A 2016 Science Channel video shared a report pointing out that satellite imagery of parts of the triangle revealed a peculiar pattern in the way some of the clouds were forming. There appeared to be a number of hexagons within the cloud cover. These six-sided cloud formations varied in size from 22 to 50 miles across.
Hexagonal clouds are not unique to this part of the Atlantic ocean. Scientists have been observing similar patterns in the North Sea— between Great Britain and Scandinavia — for some time. These cloud shapes, according to the Science Channel video, are often the signature of “microbursts” — a weather event similar to a tornado, only the wind literally drops straight down from the clouds.
“Microbursts,” according to Live Science‘s Traci Pedersen, “are powerful, localized columns of wind that occur when cooled air drops from the base of a thunderstorm at incredible speeds — up to 60 mph — and subsequently hits the ground, spreading out in all directions.”
These winds can also create huge swells atop the sea, causing waves that rise and fall up to 45 feet — large enough to toss even the most substantial ocean liners around.
These microbursts are so dramatic, the Science Channel reports, that some have taken to calling them “Air Bombs.”
So, the way the Science Channel portrayed the scientists’ conclusions, the similar cloud patterns in the Bermuda Triangle, could mean that they had a strong theory in mind to account for the disappearance of so many vessels.
“The editing on this was horrendous,” though, one of the scientists featured in the video told the Washington Post. Randall Cerveny, who directs the meteorology department at Arizona State University said, “I was really upset when I saw this.”
Cerveny told the Washington Post that he was under the impression that he was giving a ” straw-man explanation” that, he assumed, another contributor would later repudiate — or at least clarify.
The Post does a great job of summing up the deception in the video:
“Could microbursts have sunk a few ships and downed a few planes in the Bermuda Triangle? Sure. Does this mean the Bermuda Triangle mystery is real and that we’ve solved it? No — Cerveny isn’t saying that.”
So, we’ve all learned a little bit about a really cool weather phenomena that can wreak havoc on land and sea, but did anyone solve the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle?
Perhaps there is no mystery and everyone who sails the seas and flies the skies runs a certain amount of risk based on human error, mechanical malfunctions, occasional alien abductions, and extreme weather.
This article originally appeared on urbo.com.