Hatty Liu gets to the bottom of a maritime mystery dubbed “China’s Bermuda Triangle”

Beside a road snaking over the northeastern shore of Poyang Lake (鄱阳湖), 33 skeletal wind turbines tower over China’s “Bermuda Triangle.” The largest wind farm in the province, which has generated over 700 million kilowatts of renewable energy in the impoverished region since 2011, is an oddly triumphant sight for a spot known to be cursed.

“In just one hour, we can make what other wind farms generate in one year,” Zhang Yuanxing, a retired fisherman, shouts over sporadic gusts reaching over 50 kilometers per hour.

Officially, the wind is also the culprit behind the consistently strange disappearance of ships on the nearby channel, called the Laoye (“Lord”) Temple waters after the 18th-century shrine on its shore. Lying at 32.48 degrees north of the equator, these waters share the same latitude as the Atlantic Bermuda Triangle. Conservative estimates put the number of shipwrecks in this channel at over 100 in the last 60 years alone, while higher figures claim more than 1,000 over the last century. Neither can be verified due to poor record-keeping, and the tendency of mariners to enhance their yarns in the telling.

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author Hatty Liu

Hatty Liu is the managing editor of The World of Chinese, and an award-winning communications researcher. Born in China, and raised in China, Canada, and the US, she leverages her cross-cultural identity to create more empathetic knowledge across national boundaries.

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