Jun

23

 I happened to catch a History Channel re-run about the Bermuda Triangle. They offer some interesting commentary, some farfetched. One person they interviewed observed that "water is water" and the water in the triangle is no different.

Actually, the water in the triangle is very different in two ways. The most obvious is the Gulf Stream; it goes right through the Triangle.

The most interesting is the recent discovery of methane hydrates. The U.S. Geological Survey reports, "A pair of relatively small areas, each about the size of the State of Rhode Island, shows intense concentrations of gas hydrates. USGS scientists estimate that these areas contain more than 1,300 trillion cubic feet of methane gas, an amount representing more than 70 times the 1989 gas consumption of the United States."

It turns out there're methane hydrates more all over the coastal U.S., with huge amounts deposited in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. But for the moment let's stick to the Triangle.

Natural gas bubbles in the water will cause some boats to lose buoyancy. The same is true with natural gas and airplane buoyancy.

I'm wondering if there is a connection between the methane hydrate field and the Gulf Stream. Specifically, I'm wondering if the Gulf Stream warms, it "melts" the methane hydrate crystals and releases natural gas. With gas occasionally appearing in the water and air, boats and planes begin to have challenges.

If this is true, then the Bermuda Triangle is more than folk lore.

In any event, it's becoming apparent that the U.S. has a lot more natural gas than has been recently reported. Apparently, there are companies working with the Department of Energy looking for safe ways to harvest and convert methane hydrates.

For your evaluation, here are some references:

USGS map of the methane fields

Museum of Unnatural History's map of the Bermuda Triangle

University of Miami's map of the Gulf Stream

Department of Energy's discussion about methane hydrates (notice the reference to thermogenic sources)


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