Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bermuda Triangle

Everyone’s heard of the mysterious [cue echo-y scary voice] Bermuda Triangle.  If the Triangle were as dangerous as the stories would have you believe, there would be piles of shipwrecks jutting out of the water.  How many sunken ships would it take to fill the Bermuda Triangle?

According to various websites, the Bermuda Triangle covers 500,000 square miles with depths ranging anywhere from a few hundred feet to about 30,000 ft.  Assuming an average depth of 15,000 ft, we can compute the total volume we’ll need to fill with sunken ships

volume = (depth) · (area)
= (15,000 ft) · (500,000 square miles)
= 5.9×1015 m3.

Ships come in all different sizes.  Since it’s the sunken ship everyone knows, I’ll assume we’re dealing with Titanic-sized ships1.  According to Wikipedia, the Titanic had a length, beam, and height given by 269.1 m, 28.0 m, and 53.3 m respectively.  This gives a volume of approximately 4.0×105 m3.  We can then easily compute the number of Titanic-sized ships that would fit in the Bermuda Triangle,

# of ships = (volume of ocean) / (volume per ship)
= (5.9×1015 m3) / (4.0×105 m3 per ship)
= 1.5×1010 ships.

That’s 15 billion ships.  If you sunk one million ships per day, it would take 40 years to fill the Bermuda Triangle.

[1] Yes, I know there are no icebergs in Bermuda.  Work with me, people.  Work with me!

1 comment:

  1. Since the danger in the Bermuda Triangle is from a space/time rift. You would see what you see now. Nothing. All of the ships and planes were sucked out of here/now and deposited in Earth's orbit millions of years in the past or future.