Disappearance of flight MH370: Some of the theories so far

The mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370's disappearance has caught the attention of the public, with new theories surfacing every day over what might have happened to the plane.

We round up some of the most popular theories so far.

1. The plane travelled on for several hours The venerable Wall Street Journal suggested that the Malaysia Airlines flight had flown on for about four hours after its last reported position, which would mean that it travelled on for hundreds of miles.

Citing US investigators, its report on March 13 speculated that the plane could have flown far enough to reach Australia, "based on data automatically downloaded and sent to the ground from the Boeing Co 777's engines as part of a routine maintenance and monitoring program".

However, Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein refuted the report as "inaccurate" during his press conference later the same evening.

Read more: Malaysia refutes reports that MH370 flew a few hours after its last reported position

2. MH370 caught fire over South China Sea

Mike McKay, a New Zealand oil rig worker, came forward to say he saw the missing flight MH370 on fire around the time of its disappearance.

He said he saw "the plane burning at high altitude... in one piece" about 50 to 70km from the Songa Mercur drilling platform in the South China Sea.

While Vietnamese officials confirmed that they had received the letter he e-mailed, they said they found no wreckage at the coordinates he pinpointed.

Read more: Oil rig worker thinks he saw Malaysia Airlines MH370 go down in flames

3. Flight had 'structural issue' 

Stanford computer science student Andrew Aude put forward a theory, which went viral on the Web on Wednesday, that the plane had a structural issue.

Based on a Federal Aviation Authority directive which pointed to the fuselage cracking at a spot where the satellite antennae is located, Aude's theory could accommodate both the knocking out of the plane's communications systems as well as the possibility that the passengers and crew were turned unconscious by a slow decompression of the plane.

"If the decompression was slow enough, it's possible the pilots did not realise to put on oxygen masks until it was too late," he wrote.

Read more: Stanford student's theory on disappearance of MH370 goes viral