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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)

Holes is a common surface feature of the Yamal Peninsular. If one goes to google earth and search for Yamal Peninsular Russia one would find millions of holes there.
Abd R Ahmad, BBB/Malaysia
17/07/2014 14:20
3
1
i'm sure at one thing,the world has been gang raped!!!
maria severina ompaling, aklan, philippines
17/07/2014 14:19
2
6
gape
fyouahole, usa
17/07/2014 14:13
1
0
thats look like and experimental weapon by the russian prehaps a new enrgy weapon of some kind.the hole is to round and burn around looks like sostain fire to drill a hole because a meteorite is unlikely like we before meteorite me sonic boom sound when entrering the atmophere of the and leave a path of destruction like a few years ago when a meteorite crash in russia and another thin the blast is going in not coming out if it was and underground blast coming to the surface the hole should look like a volcano erupting out and it is not.this is a military test of a new weapon.WHAT THOSE THE WORLD THINK????
joshua guzman, puerto rico
17/07/2014 13:46
2
5
Warming tundra in an area with lots of gas extraction. My clueless-uneducated guess: Gas extraction lowered the pressure in an area beneath a clay, or similarly air/water-tight layer, and the pressure of the ground above caused that layer to collapse. A classical sink-hole formed over a period of years, with a small amount of methane from rotting organic matter. Something sparked, methane-oxy exploded, found a weak spot in the turndra above, and blew a plug of soil (big plug) out to form hole. Explosion scorched the hole just like hot gasses on a rocket nozzle.
Anony Mouse, Seattle, WA
17/07/2014 13:42
7
3
......hhhhh..... its back to "global warming" - LOL - I thought the current taxation excuse catchphrase was the moronic "climate change"....
UK dude, London
17/07/2014 13:37
8
5
'So much ignorance in these comments.. The internet is in dire need of a purging. Leave matters such as "Global Warming" to those with the resources and the intellect necessary to research and discuss things of this magnitude (which rules out everyone who heard about this occurrence from the news, and then some).
anon, internet
17/07/2014 12:46
4
5
Happened about two years ago and it's just now getting this attention? That doesn't sound right.
.C, Seattle
17/07/2014 11:50
1
1
THE LARGE HOLE IS ACTUALLY A GIANT "VENT" THAT IS USED FOR THE COMPLETE DRAINAGE OF OUR WORLDS MOST PRECIOUS SOURCE.. "WATER" WHERE IT'S DRAINING TO, I'M NOT REALLY SURE, "MARS" I SUPPOSE.... THE HOLE ACTS AS A BREATHING VENT FOR THE SUCTION OR DRAINAGE OF SOMETHING BIG LIKE THE "OCEAN" MAYBE? ANYHOW! ITS NOT GOOD AND I THINK THAT IT NEEDS TO BE PLUGGED OR FILLED IN BEFORE SOMETHING REALLY BAD HAPPENS, IF ITS NOT TO LATE ALREADY...USE EXPLOSIVES, ROCKS DIRT, AND LOTS OF CEMENT BECAUSE THIS BEAST IS VERY HUNGRY FOR SOMETHING....
Mike Kirk, San Ramon,ca
17/07/2014 05:01
24
50
Like peejay, I think it was a magic spell
george bushe, usa
17/07/2014 04:36
2
11
Are there any real reporters out there any more?
There are approximately 12 to 15 articles on this same subject.
All of the articles are using the same words, the same photographs and all.
This is merely plagiarism at best.
sam, us
17/07/2014 04:22
41
3
The true will be free and is inside us.
Diego Tudela, Luxembourg
17/07/2014 04:14
6
8
Do comments go through moderation before they are posted?
Mike Aguilar, The world
17/07/2014 04:00
13
1
First, if this is 40 meters in radius, and say at a minimum 40 meters deep, that’ s maybe 10^9 kg of soil, requiring (very roughly) the ~60 tons of TNT, at a minimum, and thus an equivalent magnitude of ~ 3.2 (again, roughly). Such an explosion should be detectable on seismological networks.

Second, there is another mystery crater in Siberia - the Patomskiy crater (see http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/a-volcano-or-a-ufo-what-created-this-mysterious-siberian-crater/ ). This one is in rock, not sediment, but I have to wonder if they have a similar cause.

Third, I am interested in quark nuggets, or Compact UltraDense Objects (CUDOs) by Jan Rafelski of U. Arizona (see http://www.actaphys.uj.edu.pl/_old/vol43/pdf/v43p2251.pdf ) . If these things exist, they could cause holes such as this. If this was due to a CUDO, it would cause a "linear earthquake" (see http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0505584 ), which should be easily recognizable in the seismic record.
Marshall Eubanks, Clifton, Virginia, USA
17/07/2014 03:58
16
5
The Sarlac is hungry
peejay, USA
17/07/2014 03:56
11
4

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