Unit 6 A World of Mystery
In-Class Reading The Bermuda Triangle
11 和第19飞行分队一样，许多船只和飞机也曾报告说, 他们的磁罗盘在百慕大三角海域失灵。通常磁罗盘指向磁北极。但是在地球上有两个地方罗盘刚好指向真北，百慕大三角就是其中之一。因此，这一地区的磁性有些怪异。
Part One Preparation
1 Mysterious Circles
? I guess these crop circles were man-made. Some teenagers may have made them
as a joke, or some farmers may have made them to attract tourists, because a lot of people would go there to look at the so-called mysterious crop circles. Tourism will bring them lots of income.
?Intelligent aliens from outer space may have made t he circles. I believe there
must be other life forms in outer space. These creatures have been trying to
communicate with us from far away and the crop circles might be messages from
them. Or the creatures may have actually landed on the fields and the circles
were marks left by their spaceship. Anyway, it is hard to believe that any natural force could have created a perfect circle in a grain field.
? The magnetic properties of the area might be responsible for the mysterious
appearance of the crop circles. Wind and rain may also result in such strange
and interesting patterns in the fields. I hope with the rapid development of
science and technology, human beings may, one day, be able to come up with a
rational explanation for crop circles.
?I read an article in the newspaper Can K ao X iao Xi about crop circles. According to Richard Taylor, director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, USA, laser, micro waves and GPS (global positioning systems) all play
a role in creating crop circles, the result of physics. But the article I read
didn’t give any details about how these factors work together in producing crop circles.
2 Life in Outer Space?
?Look at this picture and you can see what an alien from outer space would look like. You may wonder why he looks like a dumpling. Now let me t ell you the story.
Well, one day during the Chinese Spring Festival, an intelligent creature from
outer space landed on the Earth and he was very surprised to see that many people were eating dumplings. The dumplings not only looked good but smelled good as
well. He was invited to try one and thought it tasted delicious. In order to
remember this happy experience on Earth he decided to change himself into a
dum pling. Therefore, we gave him a nickname “Dumpling Superman”. As you can see, on the front of his body there is a pocket called the Doraemon’s pocket (机器猫的口袋). This is a pocket with which he asked his relatives for pocket
money. Looking at his long hands and the special pose you will be reminded of
Astroboy (阿童木) in the Japanese cartoon, who can speak more than 60 different languages and is always fighting against evils. There is a mischievous twinkle
in his eyes. What’s more, the red light on his belly wil l shine when the air around him is polluted. Do you like our Dumpling Superman?
? This is my interpretation of a friend from outer space. He is handsome and
also unique in many ways. On his head is a shining energy ball, showing people
how energetic he is. Below his forehead lies a pair of attractive and multi-functional eyes. He can not only see things clearly at night, but has a
tremendously far vision as well. In addition, he is also capable of seeing things behind obstacles. Then there are the two lovely ears with microphones in each
of them. Apart from these, our alien being has a highly useful mouth. Besides
the basic functions of a mouth we humans have, it can launch missiles when
encountering hazards. What is more, when he is not able to defeat the enemy, the alien will turn into a ball as a last resort. The most unparalleled feature of
the lovely alien is that he owns a “love” heart which will light up when he
meets his Miss Right. Now he is saying HELLO to you. Do you have anything to say to him?
? Please look at the picture. This alien being from outer space is called D.
Luffe. He comes from Stratum. We can see Luffe has three heads and the facial
expressions on his three faces are different. His faces change as his mood c hanges.
When he feels happy, he will smile and the flowers on his heads will bloom. When he feels sad, the flowers will wither away. His body is like a worm, which is
soft and flexible. He can stretch out and draw back his body at will, which makes him an excellent dancer. The most interesting part of his body is the lower part that looks like a crab with many feet. These feet are strong so that he can walk quickly and steadily. His hands are strong and fierce, with which he can fight
against any enemy and protect himself. What’s mo re, his hands are also convenient for him to grab food so that he can have a great meal whenever he wants to.
3 Mystery of the 23rd Floor
Mr. Gadsby was a very short man. He could not reach the button for Floor 23 since it was at the top of the panel. He could only reach the buttons for Floor 1, Floor
2 and Floor 3. Since he was too shy to ask for help, on sunny days he would take
the elevator to Floor 3 and then climb the stairs to Floor 23. But on rainy days, he had an umbrella with him, so he could reach the button for Floor 23 with his
Part Two Reading-Centered Activities
1 Part 1 (Para. 1-Para. 6 ); Part
2 (Para. 7); Part
3 (Para. 8-Para. 13)
The passage is well organized and clearly presented. It starts with a detailed
description of the accident: When it happened, what the team consisted of, weather conditions of the day, communication between the team and the control tower, and the follow-up search. Then the passage gives a brief introduction of the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. In the third part, the passage lists a few explanations about how these accidents might have happened, from UFOs from
another planet to a kind of gas escaping from the seafloor. Finally, the passage
tells us what the writer thinks about those explanations.
2 1 Flying saucers or UFOs from another planet.
2 Underwater earthquakes / Geography of the area.
3 The strange magnetic properties of the Bermuda Triangle.
4 Large amounts of methane gas escaping from the seafloor of the Bermuda Triangle.
3 1 T 2 T 3 F
1 ? I don’t find any of the four explanations convincing. Human errors might
be responsible for the disappearances. If pilots or sailors are not fully aware of the area’s hazar ds or are not experienced enough, this could lead to disasters.
Take the disappearance of Flight 19 for example. It’s reported that all of the
crewmen on the five planes were inexperienced trainees, with the exception of
their commander. But the commander might not have been at his best that day and
might have made some mistakes. Maybe the planes got lost and crashed when their
fuel was exhausted.
? I think underwater earthquakes could be responsible for the disasters, at
least for many of them if not all of them. As the text indicates, Bermuda lies
on an earthquake belt and we know earthquakes happen frequently in these areas.
For example, in recent years, there have been some serious earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Wenchuan and Northeast Japan. All of them resulted in huge damages and
claimed large numbers of human lives. If land earthquakes are disastrous, underwater earthquakes can also lead to serious results.
2 People are interested in mysteries for several reasons. First, curiosity is
human n ature. People are always curious about things unknown to them or phenomena that cannot be explained. Second, some people find their life boring, so they
want to have something new and exciting to talk about. Finally, people are worried about problems on Earth and are suspicious of new technologies. Perhaps this leads them to explore the unknown world for possible solutions to the problems on Earth. Vocabulary
1 1 A belief B believable
2 A mysteries B mysterious
3 A mixes B mixture
4 A responsible B responsibility
5 A triangular B triangles
6 A explode B explosion
7 A intelligence B intelligent 8 A discovery B discovered
9 A Normally B abnormal
10 A appearance B disappeared C disappearance
2 1 in 2 on
7 for / of
9 about 10 over
3 1 properties 2 similarly 3 as to
8 result in
9 unbelievable 10 exploded
1 Alice’s hard work resulted in a big bonus for her.
2 The plane is going to take off, and we have to fasten our safety belts.
3 A total of 20,000 people visited the museum on the first day it was open to the
4 The accident investigation team consisted of 10 experts, with a vice minister as the team leader.
5 All the afternoon he worked on his project in his lab with the door locked.
Part Three Further Development
1 Grammar Review
1 theoretical; might
2 may; describing
3 planets; must
5 shouldn’t; feel
6 may; disqualified
7 civilizations; would
9 needn’t; everyone 10 mixture; would
2 Vocabulary Review
1 A device; B devise; C device
2 A searched for; B searched; C
3 A responsible for; B responsible; C responsible
4 A same; B similar; C
5 A advances; B advancement; C advanced
6 A example; B sample; C example
7 A possible; B possibly; C possibly
3 Nothing Left to Explore?
? I agree with the point of view. There’s little left for us to explore in the 21st century. We have uncovered most of the planet’s secrets. We’ve explored the Arctic and Antarctica, conquered the highest mountains, traveled across the largest deserts, and exploited deep sea oil. We’ve launched satellites and
spaceships to explore both the Earth and our galaxy. Men reached the moon a long time ago and spacecraft have reached Mars or are still on the way there. All these show that men have done enough exploration on Earth and in the neighborhood.
? I don’t agree with the point of view. Although great progress has been made
in our understanding of the world in the past centuries, there are still mysteries for us to solve in the 21st century. For instance, so far little has been known
about deep sea creatures. Much needs to be done before we can find a cure to such epidemics as AIDS, SARS and other diseases that have claimed thousands and
thousands of human l ives. Even our brain has not fully been understood, let alone
the boundless realm of the universe.
4 Other Mysteries That You Know Of
In the Tarim Basin in China, some mummies w ere unearthed. They were not Chinese.
They were not even Asian. Evidence shows that these people lived in the Tarim
Basin 4,000 years ago and thrived there for at least 1,500 years but then they
disappeared. So who were they? What language did they speak? Where did they come from? Why did they disappear? These questions have puzzled scientists and scholars. Some believe these people probably migrated to Asia from southern
Russia, and some say they may have come from Iran or Turkey. These mummies r emain
a mystery to us.
5 An Encounter
E = E.T. H = human being
(E is visiting H at his home.)
E: How do you do?
H: How…how do you do?
E: Well, don’t be afraid. I’m from Mars and I’ve come here to see you.
H: Oh, my gosh! Anyway, it’s nice that you speak the same language as ours.
E: I’ve picked up your l anguage over the years.
H: So, what are you interested in about us?
E: Well, a lot of things, such as your planet, your culture, and especially, the way you treat your planet.
H: What do you think of the Earth, then?
E: Very beautiful, I should say. Much more beautiful than Mars. But you humans
have done too much harm to it.
H: For example?
E: You’ve made a lot of pollution in the air, water, soil, etc. What’s more, you’re killing other creatures mercilessly.
H: Yes, that’s really a problem. What, in your o pinion, is the future of us
E: To be frank, I’m not so optimistic about it. In fact, if things go on like
this, the Earth will be destroyed sooner or later.
H: That sounds terrible. I hope we’ll do something to stop the mistakes and will have a better future.
Part Four Writing and Translation
The Sphinx in Egypt is one of the greatest mysteries in history. It has the face of a man, and the body of a lion, and it faces east. It was carved out of a single piece of stone weighing hundreds of tons. Who built it and for what purpose?
When and how was it built? It has long been argued that the Egyptians couldn’t have built the Sphinx. An advanced civilization 8,000 to 10,000 B.C. may have
built it. Whatever the origin of the Sphinx, it has been a symbol of strength
and intelligence of Egyptian culture.
The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the western Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda,
Florida, and Puerto Rico. In the past 100 years over 70 ships and planes have
disappeared mysteriously in this area. The most famous disappearance was the
loss of Flight 19. Five U.S. Navy planes and 14 men on the planes disappeared
without a trace. A search plane was sent and it also disappeared completely.
Many theories have been offered to explain the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.
Some p eople believe that the ships and planes were taken away by creatures from another planet. Another theory is that the strange magnetic properties of the
area result in the disappearances. The latest theory is that the escape of large amounts of methane gas from the seafloor of the Bermuda Triangle is responsible for the disappearances in that area. But all these theories have yet to be proved.
The Mary Celeste was a large ship that set sail from New Y ork for Genoa on November 7, 1872. She was found abandoned at sea on December 14, 1872. The crew disappeared without a trace, leaving no indication as to why they left the ship. Everything else on the ship was completely normal. A meal was being cooked on the stove
and toys for the daughter of the captain were found on her bed. This disappearance of the crew from an undamaged ship remains one of the most famous sea mysteries.
There are many theories as to why the crew abandoned the ship. Some relate the
disappearance to the Bermuda Triangle, although the ship was not found near that area. Others say the crew were killed by pirates, although there were no signs
of a fight.
Do UFOs r eally exist? Many people claim to have seen UFOs i n real life. The first reported UFO sighting in America was made b y an airplane pilot in 1947. Some people have even taken pictures of UFOs. But do UFOs really exist? Many of the UFOs
sighted have been found to be planes, weather balloons or shooting stars. Others may be explained by optical illusions or people’s psychological desire to interpret the images as UFOs. However, a recent public opinion poll shows that
many people think that UFOs do exist, in spite of the lack of evidence.