The Bermuda Triangle and other Secrets of the Deep James Burnham September 21, 2015 Big Blue, Inspiration 33 Comments Welcome to the last instalment in my series, Big Blue. As you may have seen, my fascination with the ocean runs deep. I can geek out about Ocean Giants, Fascinating Shipwrecks and Lost Underwater Cities until the cows come home. Now it’s time for 9 of the biggest and best secrets of the deep; underwater art exhibits, underwater rivers (that’s right! ACTUAL rivers under the water), the Bermuda Triangle and lots more. Let’s dive a little deeper shall we…… 1. Ocean Atlas (source) Where better to start than the world’s largest underwater statue? Despite its size, it’s still hiding, tucked away, under the surface. A giant among the secrets of the deep. This amazing statue was created by Jason deCaires Taylor (who will crop up again later) and lies in Nassau, Bahamas. It’s built using materials that encourage marine life, acting as an artificial reef, weighs a whopping 60 tons and stands at a mighty 18 foot tall. She big! (source) The statue is of a Bahamian girl who is ‘carrying the weight of the ocean above her’. This is a reference to the Ancient Greek myth of Atlas, a Titan who held up the celestial spheres. To me it looks like something out of Prometheus or similar to the statues of Anubis that used to guard the temples in Ancient Egypt. 2. Amphitrite and the Guardians of the Reef (source) Amphitrite. The wife of Poseidon and a bit of a fitty in Greek mythology (I made that last bit up). She’s a tall one though, standing at 9 foot and weighing 600 pounds. Oh yes Poseidon liked his girls big. This bronze mermaid was actually designed by artist, Simon Morris and was placed 50 feet deep, off the shore near Sunset House in the Cayman Island. Amphitrite is a big tourist attraction and takes part in many selfies on a regular basis as she shows off her shiny bits… all two of them… any guesses? That’s right. Boys will be boys after all. You can snorkel or dive to her but make sure you look out for her protectors. These Guardians of the Reef aren’t far away. Lovely shield. 3. MUSA (Museo Subacuatico de Arte) (source) A total of 500 statues make up this underwater museum and art installation designed by Jason deCaires Taylor. This amazing site is underwater off Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc, Mexico. Knocks the socks off London’s Tate Modern Gallery if you ask me. (source) Imagine coming across this place if you didn’t have a clue it existed…. you’d think that a whole community had been turned to stone. This amazing sight is meant to be enjoyed from all angles so scuba divers will get the best views, up close and personal. 4. Fake Moai (source) This Easter Island head isn’t in fact that at all. First of all, it’s not on the island and I doubt its underwater resting place is due to it getting lost on the way to bingo one day. No no, this head is actually a piece of set from the 1994 film, Rapa-Nui that starred Kevin Costner. The same actor who starred in Waterworld… coincidence? Yep, guess so. 5. Christ of the Abyss (source) This statue can be found just off the Italian Riviera in Portofino and is a memorial in honour of pioneering Italian diver Dario Gonzatti who sadly died whilst scuba diving in 1947. Guido Galletti created this 2.5 metre bronze Christ and placed it 10 metres below the surface. It’s popular among freedivers and scuba divers wishing to pay homage to those who have taken their last breaths beneath the waves. Although this is the original, other variations of Christ of the Abyss can be found off Key Largo in Florida and St George, Grenada. 6. CENOTE ‘ANGELITA’ (Underwater River & Lake (source) Bare with me, I’m not having you on. Yes there are underwater rives and there are underwater lakes, complete with waves, banks and trees. Quite amazing right and until recently, one of the greatest secrets of the deep. These photos are a bit of a mind f**k at first. That is a river but are those people floating above it in scuba gear? These people are in fact, Anatoly Beloshchin (photographer and diver) and his dive crew. Anatoly is the photographer who stumbled across this hidden gem during a dive photo shoot in Yucatan, Mexico. Cenotes is a water version of a sinkhole. Sinkholes have been swallowing up many parts of the world over recent years. Scary stuff! The technical bit: In a nut shell, the different density levels between a layer of fresh water, hydrogen sulfide and salt water causes a layering effect. The middle then becomes a river between the layers and what’s formed is a breathtaking meeting between two habitats. That make sense? I had to read it twice too. Although hydrogen sulfide is toxic, there is a small body of water that is teaming with sea life and a rocky bank made of millions of mussels if you fancy a quick spot of lunch 😉 7. Great Blue Holes (source) Sticking with the sinkhole theme, and introducing these big guys. From height, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were a shoal of fish or an oil slick, but you’d be wrong, very wrong indeed my friend. This is one of the largest ocean sinkholes on earth and it can be found on Lighthouse Reef, Belize. The technical bit: These holes were formed back in the ice age when sea levels were lower. As the seas rose, these ground caves filled with water forming a….. very wet cave. World free diving champion Guillaume Nery is a legend and a bit of a nutter. He stood on the edge of this sinkhole before (literally) diving in to the unknown without a signal breathing apparatus. Maniac! (Watch the video here). (source) Who knew what he’d face down there. Would some monsterious beastie swallow him up? Will the hole close leaving him in the darkness? Maybe a force would suck him down into the earths core? Luckily for Guillaume, it was simply a vast expanse of very cold water and he returned to the surface shortly after…. that sounds boring though, He got swallowed up by the Kraken from Pirates of the Caribbean but escaped, cursed its mother and swam to safety! ….. There, that’s much more dramatic. 8. The Silfra Fissure (source) Now for one of the top dive sites in the world. This is the crack between the Eurasian and North American continents. So if you fancy a scuba dive or snorkel between tectonic plates, this is the the one (and only) place for you. This is one one of the best dives for one very good reason. The visibility is so clear, you can see up to 100 metres most the year round. Unless you’re short sighted. The Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural, geological and historical significance. I’d recommend you check out DIVE.IS for more details on the greatest dive sites of the big blue. 9. The Bermuda Triangle (source) Finally, something which must be one of the world’s most baffling unsolved mysteries of all time; the Bermuda Triangle. I’ve been intrigued by this strange phenomena for as long as I can remember. I’ve watched documentaries, read articles and trawled the internet for information, answers and theories. The odd happenings surrounding this place are truly amazing – but scary. It’s no shock that it goes by a second name; the Devil’s Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean that stretches from Bermuda to Florida and Puerto Rico. Despite it’s location being known, the US Navy still refuse to acknowledge its existence. Many have struggled to explain how countless ships and aircraft have simply vanished when passing through the Triangle. Some say it’s paranormal activity, when others believe it’s extraterrestrial goings-on. Alternatively you could consider it to be made up rubbish… I don’t believe it’s that easy though. A natural explanation? The Gulf Stream runs through the Bermuda Triangle area and is almost like a river within an ocean (different to Cenote “Angelita” just to be confusing, sorry). Like a river, the Gulf has a current that can carry objects. Therefore a boat could easily be shifted off route. A scientific explanation? Another more scientific explanation is to do with methane. No, not the type that comes out the back of a cow, but Methane clathrate (or hydrate). This is a natural gas which could build up on the continental shelves and can create large bubbles (methane eruptions or mud volcanoes) that make the water frothy and less buoyant, causing a boat to sink. Once the wreckage resurfaced, it could be dispersed of via the current of the Gulf Stream, therefore making it ‘disappear’. There are no recorded hydrate eruptions in the last 15,000 years, at least not here (unlike the Black Ridge off the south coast of USA) but you never know. This doesn’t explain the disappearance of aircraft however….. Most shocking incidents USS Cyclops: On 4th March 1918, the USS Cyclops was carrying goods from Barbados when, along with a full crew, lost the power of one engine before going missing, without a trace, never to be seen again. This incident is the single largest loss of life in the history of the US Navy that isn’t related to combat. 309 crew members and an entire boat, gone. Flight 19: This was a training flight for five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared on 5th December 1945. The squadron’s flight never returned to base. The Navy have put this down to loss of fuel however the plot thickens. One of the search and rescue aircraft deployed to look for them, along with a 13 man crew, also disappeared. Douglas DC-3: On 28th December 1948, a Douglas DC-3 aircraft disappeared while on a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami. No trace of the aircraft or its 32 passengers was ever found. Star Tiger & Star Ariel: Star Tiger disappeared on 30th January 1948, when flying from the Azores to Bermuda and Star Ariel vanished on 17th January 1949, during a flight from Bermuda to Kingston, Jamaica. Both were passenger aircraft. (source) Now I don’t want to sound too matter of fact here, but that’s a lot of missing people. I don’t have any answers but surely the US Navy need to start acknowledging it’s existence some time soon. Thank you So there it is guys and gals. This was the final instalment in my series of Big Blue. I really hope you enjoyed reading these posts as much as I’ve loved writing them and I hope I’ve introduced you to some of the greatest secrets of the deep along the way. Are there other Big Blue mysteries, experiences or sea life that you find fascinating or enjoy getting all geeky about? Please share them 🙂 TweetShare on TumblrPrintEmail TravelingWellForLess ROFL, you had me at “Let’s dive a little deeper shall we.” I love a good pun. OMG, I need to put your blog on my reader. Love your witty conversational style. http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Ah thank you very much. Appreciate that and pleased you enjoyed the post and puns 🙂 http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hey Leonie. Possibly bump into you sometime out there….maybe not the Bermuda Triangle though :s Thanks for reading http://roamsweetroam.org/ Amaury Martiny I just go my PADI Advanced Certificate for scuba diving not so long ago. So reading your article made me want to explore all those dive sites! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Amazing. Congrats on the PADI certificate, Amaury 🙂 Hope you can get your dive on soon. Thanks for reading . Gemma I honestly knew nothing about those statues under the sea, how do they get them to stay? It’s fascinating. I knew a bit about the Bermuda Triangle, can’t get too fearful of these things or we’d never leave the house! Great post! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hey, Gemma. Ah pleased I could introduce you to something off the radar. Haha, guess there held in place by a s**t load of waterproof cement. I’ll have to check it out. Pleased you enjoyed the post 🙂 http://chocolatour.net/ Doreen Pendgracs Such amazing shots, James! I had no idea there were so many sites with so many underwater sculptures and even underwater villages! Amazing. Thx for sharing. http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Cheers, Doreen. Yea there is a whole load under the surface…most we still haven’t even discovered…. all exciting stuff! Thank you for reading. http://www.loveandroad.com Love and Road OMG!!! I feel like i just discovered a new world! That all those years that I thought I knew the sea and enjoyed being in it, are nothing comparing to these underwater experiences. I need to get my PADI certificate soon. If I already feel thrilled just snorkeling, imagine if I dive in a place like Nassau or Isla Mujeres, DOPE!!! Thanks for sharing great info! Nat http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hi, Nat, An OMG?! Thats made my day 🙂 All that stuff to explore once you get your PADI. Hoping to sort mine out too. Ah, you’ll be having a snorkelling and diving fest any time now! Christmas pressie list….. Waterproof GoPro Case 🙂 Thanks for reading Tamara Wilcox Very interesting. I had no idea there were so many underwater memorials and statues. Very cool! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Some cool spots down there. Lots to be discovered 🙂 Thanks for checking the post out Karla Ramos The secrets of the underwater world. It always captures my attention! How beautiful http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Its awesome right. Cheers for reading, Karla. http://www.twodrifters.us Amy (Two Drifters) Wow, that is amazing and freaky stuff! The big black holes scare me the most. That guy who jumped in? The most insane person ever haha http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hi Amy. The blue hole is a bit ominous. Haha, he’s a right nutter, that one. Check out his other stuff. He’s literally mental! Chris Nash The Blue Hole in Belize sure is a stunner, however you’re not going to get that postcard view from sea level… in fact there, isn’t all that much to see inside it once you get bored of the stalactites… and the huge schools of sharks. But you’ll need at least your Advanced Open Water certification for that! 😉 Some cool spots, however sadly we didn’t get to dive the fake Moai off Easter Island (4 days of rough seas ruined that), nor the continental plates (simply didn’t have the time)… http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hey Chris. Sound like you’ve got up close and personal with it? Would you recommend? Hopefully you’ll get the chance to tick all the remaining boxes next time round 🙂 Thanks for reading! https://theworldwithchrisandsarah.wordpress.com/ Chris Nash We’d only just finished our Open Water PADI certification at the time, so there was no way we could have gone diving in the Blue Hole sadly… next time! http://www.compassandfork.com elizabeth Another very interesting posts. Well researched. I have learned a lot in this series! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Ah thanks, Elizabeth. Much appreciated 🙂 Pleased you’ve enjoyed the series. Nikoleta Michalova WOW! I was always interested in the Bermuda triangle and this post is so amazing and informative… Thanks http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thank you, Nikoleta. Its a cool and intriguing spot isn’t it… will the mystery ever be solved? Thank you for reading. So pleased you enjoyed the post 🙂 http://www.psimonmyway.com Trisha Velarmino Holy sht James, that’s a lot of statues underwater! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Haha, that is indeed a whole load of statues, Trisha! 🙂 Bit more impressive than the ornamental garden gnome anyway. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Isabela Mariano Wow. Those are awesome statues. Now, I’d like to rewatch Atlantis! 🙂 http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Pretty epic right! Thanks for stopping by, Isabela. DeafWanderlust Wow, amazing post! I got chills reading this! I would love to get scuba dive certified and check out all those places! As for the Bermuda Triangle, I had no idea just how many people went missing. How scary! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Ah I’m so pleased it was ‘chill’ giving 🙂 Yeah, maybe stay clear of the Bermuda Triangle… and these are just a few incidents. There are masses more. Unnerving huh. Thanks for reading 🙂 http://travellousworld.com Maaike – travellousworld.com The sink holes are scary! So if our dykes don’t break, we can still somehow get sucked up by a giant sinkhole? Oh man, and I thought Dutch are the water experts, but apparently I’m very wrong about that! 😉 http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hi Maaike. Thats it. Sinkholes are becoming more and more common. Just the other day in a town near us a 65 foot one opened up… Haha, I dunno. The Dutch are still up there 😉 Cheers, Maaike. http://travellousworld.com Maaike – travellousworld.com Oh no, really?! I hope no one got hurt. Scary stuff! Luckily there are also some beautiful things related to water, such as the underwater statues. So much more special than seeing them in a museum!