However affected we may be by their inherent drama, air accidents are rare. Out of roughly 40 million scheduled passenger flights in 2012, only 119 ended in an accident, of which just 15 involved fatalities. Accidents during flight, as opposed to take-off or landing, are rarer still, comprising just eight percent of the total. Put simply, planes don't just fall out of the sky. Except, of course, when they do, and the utterly mystifying events surrounding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which has not fallen from the sky so much as vanished from it entirely, has left an information-starved public scrambling for precedents, some logical, some... not.
It's like something out of a novel by Robert Ludlum or Michael Crichton, or maybe an episode of Fringe: a fully loaded passenger jet deliberately cuts communication, flies dark for up to an hour, changes course and then... disappears without a trace. All while over one of the busiest shipping lanes and densely populated islands on the planet. It's no wonder people are spooked, or that the cable news channels are running 24/7 on pure speculation. But until more genuine information emerges, transfixed viewers, not to mention desperate relatives, have little else to go on.
A perennially popular article, but owes its current high position to a one-day spike on March 14; one-day spikes are usually the result of bots, though it's possible this one might have something to do with a recent spike in coverage for YouTube user PewDiePie and his unconventional rise to riches.
This 2009 air flight eerily prefigured the still-unresolved fate of Flight MH370 by crashing into the Atlantic Ocean during cruising, an exceptionally rare event. A quote from the New York Times in the event's Wiki page is chilling in retrospect: "No other passenger jet in modern history had disappeared so completely – without a Mayday call or a witness or even a trace on radar." That is certainly no longer true.
In the absence of facts, people turn to myths, so again it's not surprising that this old malarkey resurfaced, despite the fact that there is a far more fitting candidate for this event. The Triangle is largely a work of science fiction (ship disappearances are no more common in the purported area than elsewhere in the region) but when the real world makes no sense, sometimes nonsense gains credence.
Some have speculated that the attention given to the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web's invention by Sir Tim Berners-Lee has led to a spike in interest in this article, despite the fact that the Web and the Net are not the same thing (the Internet was invented by the US military in 1969).
The lead-up to one of the biggest drinking days of the year (and in the USA at least, opportunities for grade-school cruelty) on March 17 is not generating nearly as much interest as last year. It seems people have other things on their minds.