The Vile Vortices are twelve roughly evenly distributed geographic areas that are alleged to have the same mysterious qualities popularly associated with the Bermuda Triangle. The best-known vortices are the the Bermuda Triangle itself, the Devil's Sea near Japan and the South Atlantic Anomaly. Five of the twelve vortices fall on a latitude close to the Tropic of Capricorn, while another five fall close to the Tropic of Cancer. The remaining two are located on the North and South Poles. Together they form the vertices of an icosahedron.
The existence of the Vile Vortices was first advanced by naturalist and author Ivan T. Sanderson. Sanderson thought conflicting air and sea currents in the regions covered by the Vortices contributed to the anomalous phenomena he observed there. These phenomena included strange sky and sea conditions, mechanical and instrument malfunctions, and mysterious disappearances.
In 1973, a Soviet science magazine published a more detailed version of the theory (Hitching, 1978). Three scientists, Nikolai Goncharov, Vyacheslav Morochov and Valery Makarov, in the article "Is the Earth a large Crystal?" in Khimya i Zhizn, posited "a matrix of cosmic energy" covering the Earth, made up of twelve pentagonal plates. The junctions of any three of these plates (62 junctions in all) had, they claimed, strange properties. For instance, several were sites of advanced prehistoric cultures, such as at Mohenjo-Daro, Egypt and Peru; and some areas had much unique wildlife, for example at Lake Baikal.
Some advocates have interpreted the Vile Vortices in terms of New Age and Earth Mystery metaphysics, citing their proximity to ancient civilizations and sacred sites. Others advance that the Vortices are connected via earth radiation lines contributing to a global, or planetary energy grid. Still others think that the Vortices may be entry and/or exit points connecting to a hollow earth or to other dimensions. However, the location of most of these sites (many are at sea) would appear to undermine some of these explanations.
Game and Story Use
- Like Ley Lines, the Vile Vortices can add a veneer of plausibility to any theory that explains their geographic distribution, making the supernatural parts of a setting more fascinating.
- Of course, when designing a world one can just distribute sites of interest according to some significant pattern, then come up with an explanation of that pattern.
- A party may be sent to investigate a remote place which is believed to have interesting qualities based on its location alone.