The Bermuda Triangle is, of course, the sea of lost ships that has devoured boats and planes, with the first recorded disappearance in the late 1800s of the HMS Atalanta. Rumors abound as to what is actually the source of all these disappearances, whether it’s the misfiring zero-point energy defense systems in the ruins of Atlantis posited by Gian Quasar, time warps and wormholes first suggested by Charles Berlitz, or the actual reason as meticulously researched by Arizona State University librarian Larry David Kusche in his seminal work: The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved. What’s the actual reason? Well, I know this is going to be hard to believe, but, and it’s what the government doesn’t want you to know, but it’s the weather, equipment failure, and bad decision making by captains and pilots. The truth is out there.
One only needs to look at the sinking of the El Faro to see this cascade failure in real time. Incidents like this likely happened to the USS Cyclops and the Marine Sulphur Queen, but without GPS, the GOES system, and modern ship-to-shore communication, authors were able to shape them into the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. I *highly* recommend the Vanity Fair article “The Clock Is Ticking”: Inside the Worst U.S. Maritime Disaster in Decades if you want to take a deeper dive into how maritime disasters happen, and think how without the modern trappings of technology, things become mysterious.
Nine-year-old me didn’t want to hear your stories of someone thinking they could outrace a Bahamian squall line, and ate up all the nonsense of time tunnels and UFOs. I don’t know what I did to be blessed with not ONE but TWO shows this Shark Summer that used the Bermuda Triangle as part of their hook, but 9-year-old me was simply agog. The first was Sharks of the Bermuda Triangle on NatGeo, which was filmed with the assistance of my friends over at Fins Attached and their superb research vessel, the Sharkwater. We get Triangle show another tonight on a really fun night of Shark Week. And there’s value to the legends of the Bermuda Triangle, as a cultural artifact of how a lack of scientific understanding leads to mythology
Sharks of Ghost Island (5/5)
I’ve actually heard the story of Great Issac Cay before – that two lighthouse keepers mysteriously disappeared one night after strange lights appeared in the sky, but I didn’t know this was the place. Nor did I know that “strange lights” actually meant “Hurricane Anna”, which likely washed those two poor souls out into the deep. The Bahamian government has since abandoned Great Issac Cay, and it is sufficiently decrepit and falling apart to be spooky and you better believe after this special I’ve added diving and investigating here to my bucket list. Dr. Craig O’Connell and Andy Casagrande lead a trip to document how many species of sharks frequent the water around the island as part of a crafting a conservation plan to help protect migratory sharks, and it’s just a lot of fun, with the occasional nod to the legends of the Limbo of the Lost (on a previous trip O’Connell’s boat well, sank, and on this trip, there were electrical and hydraulic failures in the face of bad weather). It was fun show to watch – one where I never really glanced at my phone. Between this and Thursday’s Monster Under the Bridge, it’s a toss-up between my favorite shows of the week.
Wicked Sharks (4/5)
First, this should have been called Wicked Shaaaks if you’re capitalize on the whole Boston colloquialism thing. Second, we’re back to Cape Cod and Dr. Greg Skomal’s coterie of seal-eating Great Whites (I’m not saying Dr. Skomal is creating a private Navy of sharks to one day take over the Eastern Seaboard, but I’m also not not saying that). As usual, we get the dynamics of the three-legged stool of Massachusetts beach interactions between sharks, seals, and humans. We get a fascinating glimpse into the underwater monitoring system around Barnstable County’s beaches and we a look into how the North Eastern Atlantic’s Great Whites hunt, which is unique considering how shallow the water is where the hunts take place (much different than in Isla Guadalupe’s deep clear waters, or South Africa’s murky depths). A good hour of shark science with footage and context.
Sharks Gone Wild 3 (2.5/5)
This one’s fine. Viral video clips of sharks, and if you want to check out your phone and look up occasionally and rewind the show to catch something that triggered a reaction from you, it’s fun. A little bit of “Shark Attacks OMGZ!1!” at times and some shark petting that will likely piss off marine biologists takes away half a fin, but the end footage of a whale shark rescue restores that half-fin. Not essential, but not nails-on-the-blackboard.
I Was Prey: Terrors from the Deep (.5/5)
Nope. This is all the review you get.
OK! Happy finishing the rest of your binge watching, and we’ll get Naked and Afraid with Sharks tonight to close out Shark Week 2020!