The Triangle marks a corridor of the north Atlantic stretching
northward from the West Indies along the North American seaboard as
far as the Carolinas. To take advantage of prevailing winds, ships
returning to Europe during the Age of Sail would sail north to the
Carolinas before turning east to cross the north Atlantic. This
pattern continued after the development of steam and internal
combustion engines, meaning that much of the north Atlantic shipping
traffic crossed (and still crosses) through the Triangle’s area.
The Gulf Stream, an area of volatile weather, also passes through the
Triangle as it leaves the West Indies. The combination of heavy
maritime traffic and tempestuous weather made it inevitable that
vessels would founder in storms and be lost without trace, especially
before the telecommunications, radar and satellite technology of the
late twentieth century. The occasional vessel still sinks, but rarely
without a trace.