In 2016, A satellite image showing peculiar hexagonal clouds over the ocean area known as the Bermuda Triangle is prompting speculation about whether they may represent a recurring phenomenon responsible for decades of unexplained disappearances in the region.
Seen from above, the clouds appeared to form six-sided outlines, like honeycombs, with hard edges. They range in size from 20 to 55 miles (32 to 89 kilometers) across, according to the Science Channel.
According to the Science Channel, similar cloud formations in the North Sea near the U.K. have been associated with so-called “air bombs” — powerful downdrafts of air that could overpower and destroy ships and airplanes. But even though the clouds over the North Sea and the Bahamas may look the same, they likely have different causes and interact with the ocean below in different ways, experts say.
Randy Cerveny, a meteorologist at Arizona State University, told the Science Channel that the hexagonal shapes were signatures of “microbursts,” rapid and highly focused blasts of downward-moving air that can generate sea-surface winds reaching nearly 100 mph (161 km/h) and ocean waves towering more than 40 feet (12 meters) high — which could certainly wreak havoc on the sea surface and any vessel on or near it.
All commercial aircraft and many commercial airports in the United States and around the world now have wind shear detection systems to alert aircraft to the dangers of microbursts. Thanks to better training and major advances in technology, the last commercial airplane crash in the U.S. attributed to a microburst was USAir Flight 1016 back in 1994.
Microbursts are a dangerous severe weather phenomenon that can cause great amounts of damage with little or no warning.
Meteorologists are able to forecast environments capable of producing microbursts, and using weather radar, they can often issue warnings some minutes before one potentially occurs.
The debate has continued over whether the danger of the Bermdua Triangle region might be overstated ever since Vincent Gaddis, a writer who specialized in anomalous phenomena, first coined the name in a Feb. 1964 issue of the pulp magazine “Argosy.