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Mike Carter, The Observer

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)

Greetings from across the pond. Just wondering if the team of researchers sent to the anomaly have instruments allowing them to detect an electro magnetic signature around and in the hole. If it was to be there we could be looking at it from a totally different perspective. It could also be in the form of interference in cell phones and other pieces of equipment. Also the hole appears to be angled wondering which direction it is pointing, meaning east south north etc. If these info were to come up please post them. Quite interesting phenomenon thank you
Beekeeper, Canada
29/07/2014 01:20
The deformation of the surface of the land as the ice melts below it is called thermokarst, whatever this is, my first reaction was that this is thermokarst at a whole new level. Should any new information become available, please publish it.
bernard townsend, Saint Louis Missouri, United States
27/07/2014 04:09
whatever was there, decided to leave....don't know if I blame them.
tina schilling, tuscaloosa, usa
19/07/2014 08:17
Does anybody know the diameter of the hole?
Isaias, México
17/07/2014 21:51
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
I have had a vison two days before heartquake in Nepal about some people, blowing up the earth crust (i do not know how it is called) and then read that we, humans, know that their is an underground ocean. That makes me wonder how we can possibly know this information and have pictures of it unless some poeple accessed it.

Another thing, i was in a geyser few days ago and the next day, the pressure was very low and the heat was much more down.

It makes me wonder if there would not be some bad intentionate people who would be playing in these feild and creating dangerous conditions for our future on this planet. It made think that if the water was reaching the hot center of if it was evaporated caused by some ignorant human manipulations, it could really ,ean the end of the world.

I hope, that what I am saying now, is not written somewhere in some top secret information!

We should put our pants on as humans and condamn all destructive acts, such as war, bombs and killing.
Caroline Allard, World Mir
22/10/2015 16:31
Thank C.E.R.N for these sink holes which just happened to of have popped up in the last ten years?
They are testing particle velocity at 10,000 time the Earth's own magnetic pull.
Truth, Earth
08/09/2015 05:24
I've read on Wikipedia that the sink holes are caused by methane gas, from a warming of the permafrost, and that this is an ongoing thing, not global warming as some would like to say. In other words, this would be happening even if man was not on the planet. Russia extracts gas from this region, and has for many, many years, but they didn't create the gas, it was already there.
Col c, USA
02/03/2015 22:14
I am so impressed with rt. The coverage of world news is riveting. Thanks for keeping us informed about what is happening on our beautiful planet. Keep on doing what you are doing.
helen, london
01/03/2015 13:29
Maybe it's a new separation of the continents
kim o, quebec
22/12/2014 08:55
I have wondered about the possibility of the inside of the earth being a giant combustion event waiting to happen. I understand the core of the earth is a magnetic molten nickel ball ; perhaps it is rolling around in there . it makes a lot more sense of the gargantuan geological changes we have seen in my brief 56 years on this planet than any inconvenient truth movie about ozone and human gases eroding it ever did . perhaps we can stop moralizing about the environment so much and focus on the humans on it instead - particularly if it turns out we are victims of a giant cosmic change which has nothing to do with our grandiose notions of our own effect on the earth. I have been telling my children about my theory for at least 5 years. magnetic north also changed I believe - to the extent that some airport lines had to be redrawn ... and what about an electromagnetic field effect ? why did the world shift on its axis a while ago ? perhaps that ball is moving around and melting the ice-caps via its radiant heat - escaping out via pressurized earthquakes erupting etc ... this is what I have suspected for many years. I guess I am just a contrarian soul !!
finola fogarty, canada
14/11/2014 14:55
We're coming to take you away "Ha-Ha"...
We're coming to take you away "Ha-Ha"...
We're coming, we're coming, we're coming, we're coming
We're coming to take you away "Ha-Ha".

Satan's new "Hit Song".
jojnjo, Dublin
27/08/2014 08:36
before i write my comments here i ask God in heaven to cover me with his power in the name of Jesus!
i agree with aaron,he knew it already who live there inside that hole...i can relate to his answer...but God does not allow that to happen because he created them.and God is so powerful to destroy them...
natz, philippines
19/08/2014 21:13
I am wondering what is happening this year about mysterious things taken place. ( Malaysian Airliner Flight MH370) again a mysterious gigantic hole appearing on earth, Please let us remind the Scientists to check properly, probably that is where the Malaysia flight MH370 WENT DOWN we can never know. I am praying that it could be found one day. However something must be responsible for the creation of the hole. Good luck to us all we must know the course
Baba Brim, UK
17/08/2014 06:34
All they know is that a few giant holes have appeared in the Earth. The urge to explain away all phenomena according to the rules of the current Zeitgeist is evident.
Joe, Gaylard
03/08/2014 03:28

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