The Devil’s Sea is the Pacific Ocean’s Bermuda Triangle. It is located off the coast of Japan and is the center of a number of mysterious disappearances and deaths that have gone on for centuries.


What is the Devil’s Sea? 

The Devil’s Sea is an area of the Pacific Ocean near Japan that is said to play host to mysterious forces. Dating back to the age of Kublai Khan and the Mongol Empire of the 13th century, legends describe the area as being notoriously dangerous for sea-bound travelers. 

Some have suggested that the danger stems from typhoons, hard-to-spot shoals, strange tidal patterns, methane gas, and more. Some of the supernatural suggestions for why ships seem to disappear at an unusually high rate in the area include alien abductions, portals to other worlds, sea monsters, and secret military operations. 

One suggested location for the Devil's Sea
One suggested location for the Devil’s Sea

Credit: Emok Onhigan


Where is the Devil’s Sea? 

The Devil’s Sea is located in the Pacific Ocean, centered around the Izu Islands. The exact location is often disputed. But, it is generally said to be located to the east of Japan, around 62 miles or 110 kilometers from the main island. Another suggestion places it farther from Japan, around 745 miles or 1,200 kilometers from the eastern coast. The loose interpretation of which area of the Pacific Ocean constitutes the devil sea is one of the main reasons that scientists and everyday people have expressed doubt regarding the veracity of some of the more supernatural claims.

This is similar to the proposed maps depicting the Bermuda Triangle. They vary in their exact location. Below is one of the more commonly referenced Bermuda Triangle maps.

Map of the proposed location of the Bermuda Triangle
Map of the proposed location of the Bermuda Triangle


Devil’s Sea Disappearances 

As noted above, strange occurrences in this specific area of the Pacific Ocean date back centuries. One particularly interesting story relates to the reign of Kublai Khan in Mongolia. 

The legend states that while trying to invade Japan in the late 1200s, Kublai Khan failed, losing around 40,000 sailors in an area that is now included in the Devil’s Sea. Due to his immense losses, Kublai Khan changed his plans, believing that it was too dangerous to continue attempting to invade Japan. Specifically, stories reference incredibly dangerous and surprising typhoons in the area.

Another well-known disappearance occurred in August 1945. A Mitsubishi A6M Zero, a long-range fighter plane, went missing in the area of the Devil’s Sea towards the end of World War II. Prior to radio silence, the pilot, Shiro Kawamoto, managed to relay one final message:

Something is happening in the sky…the sky is opening up—

Mitsubishi A6M Zero
Image of a Mitsubishi A6M Zero

Credit: Saigen Jiro


The Disappearance of the Kaiyō Maru No. 5

One of the best-known stories regarding the Devil’s Sea focuses on the research ship Kaio Maru. This ship was tasked with finding a number of small and large fishing vessels, as well as military vessels, that disappeared in the area between the 1940s and 1950s. (Specifically, between Miyake Island and Iwo Jima.)
The ship, and its thirty-one crew members, started their investigation in 1951 and soon disappeared as well. The wreck was later undercovered, but the fate of the thirty-one crew members remains unknown. After the research vessel vanished, the Japanese government labeled this area of the ocean as especially dangerous and warned sailors moving through the area.

Is the Devil’s Sea Real? 

The Devil’s Sea, like the Bermuda Triangle and many other sea-based stories, is just that—a story. While some disappearances in the area remain unexplained, scientists have proposed a number of explanations that are far more plausible than portals to other worlds, alien abductions, or vanishing sea creatures.

One of the more prominent explanations is that the area contains a field of methane hydrates present at the bottom of the ocean. When overheated, these create gas eruptions that can easily sink a ship. Others have suggested that underwater, or submarine, volcanoes could be responsible for the disappearance of vessels in the area

Diagram of an underwater volcano
Diagram of an underwater volcano

Credit: Sémhur

Other explanations include typhoons, unusual tidal patterns, and simple coincidence.

FAQs 

Is the Devil’s Sea dangerous? 

According to legends, stories, and real-life accounts, the area in the Pacific Ocean known as the Devil’s Sea should be approached with real caution. An unusually high number of ships have disappeared in the area. This has led some scientists to speculate about typhoons, tidal patterns, underwater volcanoes, and more. Others have suggested far more unusual reasons, such as alien abductions and portals to other worlds.

What are the other names for the Devil’s Sea? 

There are many names for this unusual area of the Pacific Ocean. They include the Pacific Bermuda Triangle, The Dragon’s Triangle, the Formosa Triangle, and in Japanese, Ma no umi.

What is the Dragon’s Triangle? 

The Dragon’s Triangle is one of several names used to describe a broadly defined region in the Pacific Ocean where unusually high numbers of ships and planes have disappeared. It is also known as the Devil’s Sea. 

Where is the Devil’s Triangle? 

The Devil’s Triangle is located in the Pacific Ocean, somewhere off the east coast of Japan. Depending on which account one reads, the area is around 60 miles from the coast or up to more than 700.

Is there any connection between the Bermuda Triangle and the Devil’s Sea? 

The Devil’s Sea is often regarded as the Pacific Ocean’s answer to the Atlantic Ocean’s Bermuda Triangle. Both areas have been seemingly responsible for the disappearance of ships and planes for centuries. But, the Bermuda Triangle has been written about, documented, and speculated about to a greater degree and is therefore much better-known.

What happens at the Devil’s Sea? 

Supposedly, the area regarded as the Devil’s Sea causes ships and planes to disappear without a trace. One especially haunting instance documents a large research ship that disappeared during an investigation of previous disappearances.