The mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues to baffle scientists and air safety experts, over one year after it disappeared without a trace over the Indian Ocean.
However, as leads to the case grow quiet, a team of mathematicians have released a new and novel theory on Wednesday: that the lack of debris from the crash is due to a perfectly executed nosedive.
Researchers at Texas A&M University in Qatar stated that the Boeing 777 could have been flown deliberately into the sea at a perfect 90-degree angle, explaining that computer simulations show it is the only scenario which fits the lack of debris from the downed plane.
"The true final moments of MH370 are likely to remain a mystery until someday when its black box is finally recovered and decoded," Mathematician Goong Chen told the Daily Mail. "But forensics strongly supports that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive."
The team used a supercomputer to test the theory, and noted that any other entry – in combination with the steep waves projected for the night the plane disappeared – would have left a large debris field.
A perfect dive would have caused very little resistance, they said, much the way divers straighten their bodies to enter the water with a smaller splash.
Theory after theory
Flight 370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, along with 239 passengers and crew.
A range of theories as to that flight's fate have emerged – from hijacking to crashing to being diverted for use in a terror attack, possibly against Israel. Later theories have become even wilder, ranging from an onboard fire to a suicide mission.
Controversy reigns over every detail of the flight, including the co-pilot's last words – "All right, good night" – and the fact that two Iranian nationals with stolen passports were on board.
One highly publicized theory last year predicted that the 239 passengers and crew died from hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, building on earlier analysis pointing to fuel starvation. A Helios Airways flight in 2005 crashed under similar circumstances.