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Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 July 2014

Mysterious 'gigantic' hole in remote region spotted by helicopters over gas-rich Yamal peninsula.

The crater is large enough for several Mi-8 helicopters to fly into it. Picture: Konstantin Nikolaev

The striking puncture in the earth is believed to be up to 80 metres wide but its depth is not estimated yet. A scientific team has been sent to investigate the hole and is due to arrive at the scene on Wednesday.

The cause of its sudden appearance in Yamal - its name means the 'end of the world' in the far north of Siberia - is not yet known, though one scientific claim is that global warming may be to blame.

There is additionally speculation it could be caused by a space object - perhaps a meteorite - striking earth or that it is a sinkhole caused by collapsing rock beneath the hole caused by as yet unknown factors.

The giant hole appeared close to a forest some 30 kilometres from Yamal's biggest gas field Bovanenkovo. Experts are confident that a scientific explanation will be found for it and that it is not - as one web claim suggested - evidence 'of the arrival of a UFO craft' to the planet. 

A report and footage highlighted by Zvezda TV says the dark colour of the crater indicates 'some temperature processes', without explaining more what they may mean. Others say that the darkening around the inner rim indicates its formation was accompanied by severe burning scorching the edges.  

Some observers believe water or dry soil is seen falling into the cavity.

Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'


Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'


Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'


Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'


Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'

Initial reports and images were suspected to be fakes, but the hole is a real phenomenon and it is believed to have been formed around two years ago. Pictures: Konstantin Nikolaev

There is agreement that soil around the hole was thrown out of the crater, large enough for several Mi-8 helicopters to fly into it - not that they have. 

The expedition organised by the Yamal authorities includes two experts from the Centre for the Study of the Arctic and one from Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. They plan to take samples of soil, air and water from the scene.

They will be accompanied by a specialist from the Emergencies Ministry.

A spokesman for the ministry's Yamal branch ruled out a meteorite but said it was too early to say what cause the gigantic hole in the earth. 

'We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite. No details yet,' said a spokesman. 

Initial reports and images were suspected to be fakes, but the hole is a real phenomenon and it is believed to have been formed around two years ago.

Engineer Konstantin Nikolaev from Yugra is one of those to have filmed it from a helicopter.  

Anna Kurchatova from Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre thinks the crater was formed by a water, salt and gas mixture igniting an underground explosion, the result of global warming. She postulates that gas accumulated in ice mixed with sand beneath the surface, and that this was mixed with salt - some 10,000 years ago this area was a sea.

Global warming, causing an 'alarming' melt in the permafrost, released gas causing an effect like the popping of a Champagne bottle cork, she suggests.

Given the gas pipelines in this region such a happening is potentially dangerous.

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug


in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug


in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug


in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Sights of Yamal - aerial view of tundra, road to Bovanenkovo gas field, opening ceremony of the Bovanenkovo, and reindeers. Pictures: Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug administration

The Yamal Peninsula in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug is a strategic oil and gas bearing region of Russia.  

It is Russia's main production area for gas and the Bovanenkovo field is of central importance to gas supplies from Siberia to the world. 

The gas field was discovered in 1972 and developed by Gazprom starting production in 2012. The Yamal peninsula is bordered by the Kara Sea - Baydaratskaya Bay - to the west, and the Gulf of Ob on the east. It extends some 700 kilometres over mainly permafrost. 

The area is famous for its reindeer herds and migratory birds. 

The Nenets and Khanty reindeer herders hold about half a million domestic reindeer.

The remains of ancient woolly mammoths have been found in this enchanting territory. 

Comments (172)

OK ..looks like it exploded out..in the area of natural GAS and oil....lighting storms do happen there...so lets say a "WHAT -IF." ..A CRACK opens ..gas starts escaping...a lighting storm comes buy....Lighting hits the area BOOMMMMM!!
darrell, USA
18/07/2014 00:21
5
2
GPS coordinates needed. Google Earth imagery of the region (Landsat) dated April, 2013, might offer clues.
Jan B, Idaho, USA
18/07/2014 00:16
10
0
My guess would be a small meteorite striking over a vast underground cavern
TEMBLOR, San Diego, USA
18/07/2014 00:15
1
4
Mourad,

Where do you get your information?

"finally the hole where Gog and maggot come out they are humans being live inside the earth since the time of the second king after the king Solomon he was just king who control east and west during his time was called the king with two horns he had an armies more than 100000000 soldiers in his control the Gog and maggot come out to attack the earth they eat everything's and they will drunk the hole river in one day Gog and Maggots where are 7 billion on earth about the other 14 billion inside the earth the middle sign of the end of this world bad luck." ?
Murph, USA
17/07/2014 23:59
10
11
Somehow I knew they'd put it down to global warming.
Matt, NJ, USA
17/07/2014 23:43
6
5
The inner walls appear almost perfectly smooth and cylindrical. . I really can't picture anything else but something slowly and methodically being expelled from below.. A Pingo looks like the first obvious choice.. Note the debri isn't thrown out away from the center, like in an impact or explosion, but just pushed and piled outward.. Also the majority of the debri seems to be on the lower slope side, this may be just an after effect from normal climate conditions, but it's worth noting as melting ice and water, as the cause, would have naturally drained in the same direction, pulling more debri along with it, to the same side, from the onset.. Be interesting to hear what they determine. .
Michael, Cape Cod/US
17/07/2014 23:29
8
1
Something close to some aspect of dividing something by zero. If it is reverse in concept and if the hole, as another zero, out for multiplication, it is going to reduce everything to zero, for eg. it must be sucking air, dust, soil, water, and what not inside the hole, which all must have reduced to zero. Or may it be a gateway to another planet. However, in the meantime, it's more likely what Mickey, EU says "It is collapsed pingo, people. May appear strange to general public but in fact it's not that rare."
DKSP, the Agh., UUPMMSK
17/07/2014 23:11
4
5
Kimberlite pipe?
Lulu, Canada
17/07/2014 22:53
0
3
While hole is of interest, kindly notice that in photos showing into hole.....there appears to be a larger cavity....size of which could be massive......why is this not being covered by world press.....we have the technology to explore....nations------- put politics aside and explore.........we would be more than happy to donate Chris Christie to set up traffic barriers to area.......maybe even lay in way of traffic/ would block a superhighway by himself
John of the World, NJ/ USA
17/07/2014 22:10
2
6
Does anybody know the diameter of the hole?
Isaias, México
17/07/2014 21:51
0
0
finally the hole where Gog and maggot come out they are humans being live inside the earth since the time of the second king after the king Solomon he was just king who control east and west during his time was called the king with two horns he had an armies more than 100000000 soldiers in his control the Gog and maggot come out to attack the earth they eat everything's and they will drunk the hole river in one day Gog and Maggots where are 7 billion on earth about the other 14 billion inside the earth the middle sign of the end of this world bad luck.
mourad, sydney Australia
17/07/2014 21:32
4
12
Da Sir! I lost the giant bomb.

Hole looks like an Impact Object. It looks similar to Meteor Crater in Northern Arizona, USA (scaled smaller).

Maybe Art Bell has a theory?
SFret, Georgia, USA
17/07/2014 21:27
0
3
HAHAHAHA It Is A Hole From Ice Fishing The Biggest Fake Of The Year........
old man,
17/07/2014 20:44
2
13
First printed by the Onion. Please people, please stop with the totally useless and totally false made up crap. You're just taking up space and wasting my time.
steve, denver, usa
17/07/2014 20:39
3
12
Cut to the chase; cease speculation. Prepare and equip a durable drone/robot with camera and lights

to determine the nature, extent, depth and hopefully the origin of the hole. Then "come clean" with the

findings. Don't dupe the public or hide or mislead the public about investigative results.
William C. Crews, Springdale, Md., USA
17/07/2014 20:32
8
0

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