Mythbusters: Sharks and the Bermuda Triangle

By Cloé Pedneault

Sharks and horror movies

Hello, I hope you are doing ok. So, over the years, I have had this thing for horror movies, and one that really stands out is Jaws. It obviously stands out because it is a great movie, but it also encrypted in our brains a common fear of sharks. To prepare for our trip, me and my family have been watching lots of shark documentaries. In these, I saw that sharks are nothing like what I really imagined them to be. Them being mean, human-eating creatures is just a myth. That really got me thinking, maybe there are other myths like that.

Misunderstood creatures, or even places, that we have learned to fear out of pure ignorance. So, I did my research and found a few interesting ones.

Myth number one: sharks

First off, let’s start with some good old statistics:

animals  and # human killed per year
Cows: 20
Dogs: 30
Deers: 200
Sharks: 10

As you can see here, dogs and deers kill more people than sharks in a year. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, but statistically, you should be more afraid of them than sharks. Don’t go sell your dog just yet, as these deaths are mostly caused by pit bulls attacks, which are mostly banned in North America.

Here are some more interesting facts that can help convince people that they shouldn’t fear sharks: in the United States, you have more chances to die from a vending machine falling on you than in a shark attack.

To be more precise:

  • You have 1 in 112 million chances to die by a vending machine falling on you;
  • You have 1 in 250 million chances of dying by a shark attack.

So even everyday objects should be scarier than these creatures.

Sharks are the victims, not the assailant

If I haven’t convinced you yet, here is another angle to take. Sharks are actually the victims. Every year, 100 million sharks get brutally murdered. Yes, you read that right, 100 million sharks every year!!! These are mostly caused by illegal shark fins trade. In Asian countries, these fins are in high demand. The most ridiculous part of it is that the fins don’t actually taste anything, they are just a sign of wealth. They are mostly put in soup with spices and mushrooms.

Finally, only a dozen out of 375 species of sharks are deemed dangerous and three of them are responsible for most of the attacks on humans: great white, tiger and bull shark. Those species are not aggressive at all, they are just naturally nervous and get more defensive faster.

So here you have it. Sharks should not be feared, but rather loved and more cared for, as they play a big part in keeping the natural order of things straight. Personally, I have always found sharks cool and interesting and I hope you do to, or at least are less scared of them.

After all this data and research, I think I can definitely call the fact that sharks are dangerous, human eating creatures a myth.

Myth number two: The Bermuda Triangle

First, let me clarify some things. The Bermuda Triangle, also called the devil’s triangle or Hurricane Alley, is situated in the north Atlantic Ocean or to be more specific, the western part of it. It is loosely delimited by Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda. There is a number of cases where aircrafts and ships have disappeared in mysterious and unknown circumstances, which led some to believe that these were due to extra-terrestrial or paranormal activities.

Paranormal disappearances

First, let’s talk about some “paranormal” disappearances. March 4th, 1918, north of Barbados, a captain never sent a distress signal to anyone. Now, that is strange, but even more chilling is the fact that nobody aboard the ship answered any radio calls from boats that were reported to be in the vicinity. So basically, a ship sunk without anyone getting any sort of distress signal. So, the U.S.S Cyclopes just seemingly disappeared into thin air.

Now, I think we can all agree that one of the Navy’s largest fuelled ship doesn’t just drift out of existence like that. However, it could have just sank and the signal just didn’t reach the boat. Also, the disappearance occurred in 1918, and we can all agree that the technologies back then were not very good.

According to the New York time magazine, between 1946 and 1991, around one hundred disappearances of ships and airplanes occurred in the Devil’s Triangle.

However, that area is very heavily travelled by shipping lanes. Ships frequently cross through it from ports from and to Europe, America and the Caribbean islands, and a lot of cruise boats and planes frequently go over the triangle.

Inaccuracies and inconsistencies

To add to it, a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies were found and most people who wrote about the paranormal activities of the triangle exaggerated facts, or used unverifiable facts.

One of these writers was Berlitz. Another author, Larry Kusche, who wrote the book the Bermuda triangle mystery: solved (1975), did some research and concluded that many of Berlitz’s account and statements from eye witnesses, participants and others parts of many accidents that happened in the triangle were filled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies.

Kusches’ findings

  • The number of disappearances of ships and aircrafts that were reported were not and still aren’t significantly greater, proportionally, than in any other parts of the oceans.
  • Berlitz and other writers would often not mention storms or represented the disappearances as if they had happened in calm weather condition.
  • The number of mysterious disappearances has been exaggerated because of sloppy research. For example, a boat’s disappearance would be reported, but its return to port, if it did, may have never been.
  • Some writers purposely or unknowingly used misconception, bad or simply faulty reasoning, and sensationalism, which created a manufactured mystery, the Bermuda triangle.

So there we have it ladies and gentlemen, with all of Kusches’ research, we can prove that most or even all of the mystery behind the devils triangle is mostly, and I am even tempted to say fully, bad research, inconsistencies and a pre-existing assumption of a mystery. I think I can finally say, after all the research I had to make, that this myth has been busted… at least for me!

And that is it for the mysteries, at least for now. I hope that you will no longer fear sharks, or hurricane alley. I also hope you enjoyed this article, because I definitely enjoyed researching all this information.

1 Comment

  • by
    Posted 2020-03-29 08:06 0Likes

    Merci. Très intéressant.

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