We all know that the Bermuda Triangle eats ships and planes like they’re candy. So when it sees something in the shape of a giant ball with something soft inside, it’s probably thinking “Cadbury Egg!” That could explain why a man trying to run around the entire Bermuda Triangle inside a homemade floating human hamster ball failed only three days into his trek.
Iranian-born US national Reza Baluchi described his trip as a fundraiser “for children in need” and “to … inspire those that have lost hope for a better future.” The 42-year-old ultramarathoner’s goal was to travel around the Bermuda Triangle, from Miami to Bermuda to Puerto Rico to Miami, a 1,033 mile trip, to raise money for his charity, Plant Unity.
Baluchi called his self-designed floating human hamster ball a “hydro pod bubble runner.” Built out of metal, soccer balls and 3mm-thick plastic, it’s propelled by running inside like a classic hamster ball. His plan was to run until he got too hot, jump into the water to cool off (while tethered to the ball), then climb back in and repeat. The pod had a hammock for sleeping, protein bars and bottled water for sustenance, fishing gear, a satellite phone and a waterproof pouch for his green card and passport. Baluchi said he successfully tested the pod last year in the Pacific and has been preparing for two years.
What could possibly go wrong? When dealing with the Bermuda Triangle, just about anything. Baluchi left Miami on Wednesday, October 1, and was spotted on Thursday, still on the Miami coast, by a person who told the U.S. Coast Guard he asked for directions to Bermuda. The Coast Guard picked him up on Saturday, October 4, about 70 miles from St. Augustine after he turned on his tracking beacon.
Where’s Baluchi’s big ball now? In the belly of the beast. The Coast Guard left it in the water and the Bermuda Triangle has by now devoured it as a warning to Baluchi and any future human hamsters crazy enough to try this stunt again.