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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)

The anti global warming people are here as first to react...Geeeez do you people receive money for that from the Tea party?!!! Fact is that the earth is warming up...who is to blame is not interesting for this strange earthly phenomenon. Fact is that this is an area where the perma frost is slowly melting due to global warming...Why dont you oil lovers stick your big stupid heads in to your own holes and leave science to people that do not believe that the earth is 6000 years old! It is not a sinkhole! The Earth on the rim wouldn't be there if it was. Meteorites come in an angle...This is clearly not the case. I put my money on the explanation from Anna Kurchatova
coen, South Holland
17/07/2014 03:22
14
50
Most likely it is a result of a deposit of Methane Hydrates melting and this type of event will become more commonplace and accelerate greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere speeding up global warming. Events like these will soon make it impossible for global warming deniers to keep their heads in the sand.
Methane Hydrates, Anytown, Siberia
17/07/2014 03:15
11
26
'The Bottomless Pit' perhaps ???

• confer the Holy Bible - Revelation (ESV)

9:1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. 2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft.

9:11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

11:17 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,

See also Revelation17:8 and 20:1 (not enough room to post)
Ridge, Crater Lake, Oregon
17/07/2014 03:03
16
38
Agartha !!
Lucas, Argentina
17/07/2014 02:40
4
4
Its C'thulhu...
,
17/07/2014 02:25
12
4
Ok..Who else is thinking Santa Claus's hideout is blown?? and the reindeer are not helping with the coverup...
Katherine, Chilliwack Canada
17/07/2014 02:08
20
4
What is the GPS on this site?
n120by60w, USA
17/07/2014 01:54
10
1
Looking at it, if we're to accept that "heat" looks to have cut the edges and discolored it.. given the "lip" on the outer rim, and the blown out dirt.. I'm not sure why it couldn't have been a meteorite that happened to hit over a cave network. Clearly (from at least one photo) there's a cavern under there, and the falling body would liquify on impact.. if it had been solid ground, it would have been devastating, but since it was hollow, instead of a massive eruption of material, we have a minor outwardly blowout with a cut hole into the space.. I want to see what they find IN the hole, that will be helpful as well.
Just a guy, US
16/07/2014 23:21
24
7
Why does everyone say anything that happens is (global) Warming ?? This world has been changing since day One. I remember in the late 1970's it was Cooling and we were to be in an Ice Age Now. One should be scard of any report that is followed by the N.O.W. Trying to make a law that if you say Global is not true is a crime ! There has never been a time before that it was a crime to disagree withcsomething like this. When the world was sure the Planet was Flat it was Not a Crime to say it was not. Things like this Hole happen all the time so we should stop sounding like Chicken Little running around crying that the sky is Falling... read , Think , the Talk.
James Woodard, USA
16/07/2014 22:58
37
32
When is man going to realize that "Man" has destroyed our natural world.
Vicki, USA
16/07/2014 22:21
9
46
A fertile imagination would conjure up the likes of Rodan and Godzilla crawling out of the depths.
Balian de Ibelin, Floresville/United States
16/07/2014 22:21
0
0
Fertile imaginations would conjure up Rodan or Godzilla rising from the crater.
So.Tx USA, Floresville, USA
16/07/2014 22:18
14
1
Luke in Australia very good explanation just one letter off,

It's actually aliens going down ON demons coming up!
Shawn, USA
16/07/2014 22:12
2
1
Adding GPS coordinates for a Google Map survey doesn't make sense as the maps are updated very slowly by Google especially for such a remote and uninhabited place.
However the most reasonable root cause is the so called "Sink Hole", Yamal peninsula is fully covered by lakes, one of them sinked down suddenly creating such a phenomena.
Maurizio Bianchi, Benevento / IT
16/07/2014 21:31
12
6
Adding GPS coordinates for a Google Map survey doesn't make sense as the maps are updated very slowly by Google especially for such a remote and uninhabited place.
However the most reasonable root cause is the so called "Sink Hole", Yamal peninsula is fully covered by lakes, one of them sinked down suddenly creating such a phenomena.
Maurizio Bianchi, Benevento / IT
16/07/2014 21:29
2
4

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