IMO, the theorem of erupting methane gas deposits causing ships to sink has some validity. In the Discovery Channels’ documentary, they showed some film footage of an offshore oil
rig that had drilled into a gas deposit. The rig almost sank as large gas bubbles boiled the water underneath, and around the pylons of it. Also of interest in the documentary were the illustrations of the seabed contour. From the shallows off the coast of Florida
, to the 30,000 foot deep Puerto Rican trench, the “hills and valleys” of the ocean floor contribute unruly fluid forces when there is a major disturbance in the seabed. Massive fluid motion moves through it all much like hitting a golf ball on a Putt-Putt course through the maze of “humps,” staged randomly in the path towards the hole.
There are also some flaws in the methane gas theorem. For instance, even though in test tanks
model ships were sank while inducing large air volumes beneath them, the models were being held in a stationary position. How much effect would the eruption of a methane gas deposit have on a giant oil
tanker traveling at 15-20 knots? There doesn’t seem to be any way of knowing.
The Discovery Channel broadcast on the subject was interesting to me. I thought it may be of some interest to sailors here, and possibly generate some discussion. Maybe some strange occurrences would be shared by sailors that have traveled through the Bermuda
Triangle, or opinions offered on the methane gas theorem. About the only strange occurrence I’ve had sailing through the Triangle involved getting trapped into crewing
for a retired IBM computer Geek. He helped develop a system called “OS2,” I believe it was. Apparently some guy named Bill Gates shot the system down when he introduced another system called “Windows.” The rest as they say “Is history
.” Every time I mentioned something about “Windows,” the blood vessels would start to pop out on the skippers’ forehead.The rest of his head, all the way down to the base of his neck would turn an unusual color of crimson red. He would begin to rant and rave about Bill Gates, and how “OS2” is a superior operating system, etc, etc. I tried to reassure him that I knew he was correct in his assessment, each time I accidentally brought up the subject again, and again.
Every function on board was scrutinized by Mr.OS2. From measuring how much water was used to wash the dishes, to if wash rags were properly folded in the head, everything was inspected by him. It was as though I had entered a bad episode of the “Twilight Zone” and couldn’t get out. It was really quite maddening, and scary. But yet, some how I didn’t suffer any serious, adverse long term effect…effects from the experience. The voyage was back during my heavy rum
drinking days. For that, I’m thankful.
Reported strange occurrences other than neurotic computer Geeks skippering boats through the Bermuda Triangle won’t keep me from sailing there. I figure the odds of a methane gas pocket taking me out is probably less than the possibility of hitting a submerged object. I just find these types of things about the ocean fascinating. The ocean is a last frontier. A lot is known about it, but there’s also a lot that isn’t.