This blog contain many fictions, myths, and also facts. It's up to you to choose one or both.

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Depok, West Java, Indonesia
My name is Yosafat Jan Diocassa Agrephino. People call me Dio or Yosafat. My birth date is on 8th November 1996. I'm the last child of 4 children. I made this blog just for fun, because i have a lot of free time. One more thing to know, i love peaceful. But if someone got a problem with me, I'll show the real problem

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Theories About Bermuda Triangle - Compass Variation

Compass variation has been one of the popular explanations for missing ships and planes in Bermuda Triangle.

So what is compass variation?

A compass actually points to the magnetic North, while the absolute geographic North (which is known as the North Pole) is located at Greenland. And these two are not the same location on the earth.

That's where the problem is. They are away by about 1500 miles.
Yes, that's correct. Many of us believe that if we keep following the 'N' of a compass, we will reach the absolute north (that is the north pole). If we do that, we will actually end up reaching Prince of Wales Island in the Northwest Territories of Canada, which is about 1500 miles away from the North Pole.

The angular gap between the absolute geographic North and the magnetic North is known as the compass variation. And the gap depends on the position of the ship or the plane. For example, from Azores the gap between the absolute North pole and where the compass actually points is 20 degrees. Whereas from coast of Florida, there is hardly any gap.

So what does Compass Variation got to do with Bermuda Triangle and the disappearances of ships and planes?

Well, the US Coast guards came out with some strange observations and a theory. Until then, the theory of compass variation was not known as a cause of Bermuda Triangle disappearance. Here is an extract from what the US coast guard communicated:

The majority of disappearances can be attributed to the area's unique environmental features. First, the "Devil's Triangle" is one of the two places on earth that a magnetic compass does point towards true north. Normally it points toward magnetic north. The difference between the two is known as compass variation. The amount of variation changes by as much as 20 degrees as one circumnavigates the earth. If this compass variation or error is not compensated for, a navigator could find himself far off course and in deep trouble.

Well, I think the above statement is quite misleading. First, the compass always points to the magnetic North. It does so even within the Bermuda Triangle area and does not point anywhere else.

However, it is true that if a ship moves along a specific narrow strip within Bermuda Triangle, the magnetic North and the absolute geographic North come into the same line. Which means the compass on this narrow strip will point to absolute North as well since both are the same along this line. So the compass variation, which is the gap between absolute and magnetic north, will show as zero. There is nothing strange about this.

Second, as a matter of norm, every navigator factors in the compass variation while creating the navigation charts. Otherwise, even with a 1 degree difference, the ship or the plane can end up miles away from its target when it traverses a long distance. So there was no reason to underestimate the navigators, who are supposed to consider the compass variation anyway as a matter of practice. And such practice prevails all over the world. So accidents or loss can happen all over the world and not just in Bermuda Triangle, if such compass adjustments are not done.

Third, there were so many pilots and captains who have been old hands in the area and had a vast knowledge of the locations and the environment, but still had fallen pray to the Bermuda Triangle's unknown forces. Compass variation or not, they knew their places at their finger tips. So how did those cases of disappearances take place?

Well when you analyze all these, the theory of compass variation to justify ships and planes getting lost in Bermuda triangle, seems to be a weak justification. Probably the US Coast Guards had to come out with some theory under tremendous pressures from the US Government and International community, as there were so may cases of disappearances taking place.

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