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First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world'

By Anna Liesowska
17 July 2014

Experts examine the newly-discovered hole in the earth in Siberia.

The crater has an icy lake at its bottom with water cascading down its eroding permafrost walls. Picture: Andrey Naumenko, 'Yamal-Region'

The crater on the Yamal Peninsula was caused by aliens, a meteorite, a stray missile, or an explosive gas cocktail released due to global warming, according to various theories in recent days.

Images of the remarkable phenomenon have gone round the world since The Siberian Times highlighted helicopter images of the giant hole earlier this week. 

The first expedition to the scene - the scientists have just returned - took these epic pictures of the hole, including the darkening pattern on the inner rim. 

Now they are using Russian satellite pictures to fix the moment when it suddenly formed. 

They found the crater - around up to 70 metres deep - has an icy lake at its bottom, and water is cascading down its eroding permafrost walls.

It is not as wide as aerial estimates which suggested between 50 and 100 metres.

First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 

The first scientific expedition has just returned from the site, now the experts are working with satellite pictures to fix the moment when the crater has formed. Pictures: Marya Zulinova, press service of the Governor YaNAO

While the team insist that it is a 'natural phenomenon', they insist further study is essential to understanding the formation of the crater in lake-studded Yamal - a name which means 'end of the world' in the local tongue. 

Andrey Plekhanov, Senior Researcher at the State Scientific Centre of Arctic Research, said: 'The crater has more of an oval than a circular shape, it makes it harder to calculate the exact diameter. As of now our estimates is about thirty metres.

'If we try to measure diameter together with soil emission, the so-called parapet, then the diameter is up to sixty meters.

'The crater is from 50 to 70 metres deep'.

First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 

The first look down the crater. Picture: Andrey Naumenko, 'Yamal-Region'

The researchers were unable to make their way to the bottom of the lake, but did go inside the crater. 

'There is ice inside the crater which gradually thaws under the sun.

'Also there is melted water flowing down from its sides, you can see water traces on the pictures. The crater is filled with ice by about eighty per cent. '

He stressed: 'We are working with space photographs to figure out exact time of its formation.

'We have taken soil and ice samples which went straight to laboratories. We can be certain in saying that the crater appeared relatively recently, perhaps a year or two  ago; so it is a recent formation, we are not talking about dozen years ago. 

'Could it be linked to the global warming? We have to continue our research to answer this question. 

'Two previous summers - years 2012 and 2013 were relatively hot for Yamal, perhaps this has somehow influenced the formation of the crater.

'But we have to do our tests and research first and then say it more definitively'. 

First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 

The crater is filled with ice by about eighty per cent. Pictures: Marya Zulinova, press service of the Governor YaNAO

The best theory for now is that the crater was formed by internal - not external - forces. 

'For now we can say for sure that under the influence of internal processes there was an ejection in the permafrost. I want to stress that it was not an explosion, but an ejection, so there was no heat released as it happened'.

Earlier scientists were sure there was burning visible on the sides of the crater. 

'I also want to recall a theory that our scientists worked on in the 1980s - it has been left and then forgotten for a number of years. 

'The theory was that the number of Yamal lakes formed because of exactly such natural process happening in the permafrost. 

'Such kind of processes were taking place about 8,000 years ago. Perhaps they are repeating nowadays. If this theory is confirmed, we can say that we have witnessed a unique natural process that formed the unusual landscape of Yamal peninsula. 

First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 

Experts examine the newly-discovered hole in the earth in Siberia. Pictures: Marya Zulinova, press service of the Governor YaNAO

'There was no traces of anthropogenic impact near the crater, just as there was no traces of human presence, except for very few sledge traces and of course reindeer traces.

'If it was a man-made disaster linked by gas pumping, it would have happened closer to the gas fields', Andrey Plekhanov told The Siberian Times. 

These are about 30 kilometres away. 'Gas workers would have been on alert, letting us know about it immediately.'

Denigrating speculation of aliens or UFOs he insisted:'There is nothing mysterious about it. There is no weird or unexplained feelings there, we came back safe and sound'.

Despite this, he said: 'I've never seen anything like this, even though I have been to Yamal many times.'

First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 


First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world' 

The hole is in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous, some 30 kilometres from the Bovanenkovo gas field. Pictures: Marya Zulinova, press service of the Governor YaNAO

The crater is different from others on Yamal.

'There is nothing mysterious here, it is simply Mother Nature's law with its internal pressure and changes in temperatures', Andrey Plekhanov said.

Marina Leibman,Senior Researcher at the Earth's Cryosphere Institute of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said: 'About the future of the crater - its walls are constantly thawing, water is gathering up and I suspect that it gets frozen at the bottom of the crater. If the water stream intensifies - for example because of the hot second part of July - then it won't have enough time to freeze. This will likely lead to a formation of a new lake.'

Vladimir Pushkarev, Director of the Russian State Scientific Center of the Arctic Research, 'It is an interesting phenomenon, there is every sense in continuing scientific work on it and right now we are discussing the best ways of exploring the site.'

The hole is in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous, some 30 kilometres from the Bovanenkovo gas field. 

Anna Kurchatova from the 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. 

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 under soil ice, released gas causing an effect like the popping of a Champagne bottle cork, she suggests.

Yamal, a large peninsula jutting into Arctic waters, is Russia's main production area for gas supplied to Europe.

Comments (158)

I just read something at http://www.cipherverse.com/ about this. It debunks the Pingo theory. After reading it I've got to say, it does seem like most logical possible explanation I've read
Ricardo Garcia, Lexington Kentucky
25/11/2014 00:46
0
0
Powstał otówr na 70 m głębokosci, a gdzie jest ziemia z tego otworu ??? Na zdjęciu jest ziemi na max 1m głębokości. Dlaczego u wyloty jest taki ładny , jakby stemplem wykonany wzór ???, a na ścianach równe podłużne pasy? - tego żaden gaz nie zrobił by.... ?
Zooo, Poznań
17/11/2014 17:41
0
0
So, with absolutely no evidence, the climate change folks are chanting the mantra, "Global Warming...Global Warming...Global Warming...".
Bo Didley, Aardvark, Ohio
15/11/2014 07:59
1
0
Why doesn't it fill up with water? I see bodies of water nearby.
Chris, USA
14/11/2014 01:21
0
0
This would be the perfect opportunity to use GoPro quadcopter drones to capture 1080p aerial photography in a safe and inexpensive manner.
Eddie, New York, United States of America
10/10/2014 22:07
1
0
When a specific place is viewed from above, informations can be extracted easily as it gives us precise data with its dimensions. The use of satellite iamgery or aerial mapping is widely used nowadays in order to attain the information we wanted. Aside to that, it will lead us to further research and related studies. Amazing article!

Daniel - TerraServer
Daniel, USA
02/10/2014 10:46
1
0
It is a consequence of global warming, melting the permafrost...
Enrique, Spain
21/09/2014 10:32
0
3
There's "Bogs" & then there's "Bogs"!
Jaker, Dundalk
03/09/2014 11:19
0
2
Very mysterious holes, there will be all kinds of theories regarding these holes. These holes are just a few of many unexplained phenomena that will reveal themselves as the days go bye. What they mean, who did them are all secondary questions. The real question is are we ready for the return of the one who knows the answers to all our questions Jesus Christ. Mysteries are a sign of Christ soon return. May God Bless us all and have mercy on us all.
Father Tekle Dingel Bennett, Ajax, Ontario
29/08/2014 06:06
2
7
Se a suspeita inicial foi de explosão de gás, essa deve ser a razão. Algo ilegal está sendo feito nas proximidades. Agora, tentam outras explicações menos óbivias para encobrir o problema. E ainda extrapolam.... Extraterrestres...kkkk
Ale, Porto Alegre/Brazil
27/08/2014 13:49
0
4
Jason,
It sounds like you have a lot of experience with natural gas pipelines, so I won't try to argue on that point. I would ask you, though, to take another look at the brown soil around the edge. If it was an explosion that caused the hole, would the soil not be strewn in a partern that resembled an explosion? An explosion large enough to cause a hole this size should have thrown soil a hundred feet or more, no? This pattern looks more similar to a mudslide, soil sort of pushed to the side. The evidence seems to point to a Pingo being lifted by boyancy of the water table rising.
Dustin, Oregon
15/08/2014 02:32
0
0
it looks like something came out from earth. seems everybody has their own guess about how it was created, but no one reported had reproduced the hole by implement their theory? tokooonline.com
toko mainan, depok/indonesia
06/08/2014 14:37
0
1
see the picture of its inside ....there are three tunnel like structure and nobody is discussing about it..now there are two other similar crater formation total three......
my guess....there were three to four things which were connected by tunnels. when the permafrost due to global warming started melting it caused the tunnels to collapse.....so what choice those things had was to leave the ground and go to some other places......there might be a hidden city inside....just guess based on ufology
mk, india
05/08/2014 02:40
0
1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pingo

Sorry folks.

Common phenomenon
DaveH, Pingoville, USA
04/08/2014 13:47
2
1
Why anyone gets inside to check if there is some clues there?
Jorge, Portugal
04/08/2014 02:50
0
0

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