Thursday, Dec 08 2016
All Cities
Choose Your City
'That time Barnaul was undoubtedly the most cultural corner of Siberia. I named it Siberian Athens'
Pyotr Tyan-Shanskiy, 1856

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE Siberian crater

By Anna Liesowska
12 November 2014

Haunting beauty of massive hole as scientists examine frozen lake formed after giant blowout.

'We managed to go down into the funnel, it was a successful expedition'. Picture: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

A mission this week to the newly-formed crater on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia is expected throw fresh light on how this and other such phenomenon were formed. Experts are working on a theory that gas hydrates caused underground explosions in the same way as eruptions under the Atlantic Ocean may have led to the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon.

Our new pictures show how, for the first time, scientists used climbing equipment to reach the base of the crater - a lake at least 10.5 metres deep with a frozen surface.

Leader of the new mission, Vladimir Pushkarev, director of the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, told The Siberian Times: 'We managed to go down into the funnel, all was successful. We used climbing equipment, and it is easier to do this in winter, than in summer, with the ground now hard.

'We took all the probes we planned, and made measurements. Now scientists need time to process all the data and only then can they draw conclusions.'

The funnel of the crater is about 16.5 metres deep, not including an earthen rampart on the surface, formed in the blowout, of several metres in height.

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater

It is possible other such phenomenon existed but were not noticed earlier. Pictures: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

At the base is a frozen lake. 'The depth of the mini-lake is about 10.5 metres but it can be deeper. We are waiting for the exact information from readings taken by the scientists', Vladimir Pushkarev said. 

The research to the largest of three known holes - all recently formed - in northern Siberia was initiated by the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, and included experts from a number of institutes. 'They did radiolocation tests at a depth of 200 metres, took probes of ice, ground, gases, and air. Now they all went back to their institutes and labs and will work on the material. The next stage is processing of the gathered information. 

'Then we plan to explore the surrounding area, comparing images from space, and even those taken in the 1980s, to understand if there are - or were - some similar objects'.

It is possible other such phenomenon existed but were not noticed earlier. 

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater

'As of now we don't see anything dangerous in the sudden appearance of such holes'. Pictures: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Mr Pushkarev claimed it is too early to draw conclusions on theories on the  crater's formation, including the suggestion from Russian scientist Igor Yeltsov, the deputy head of the Trofimuk Institute, that heating from above the surface due to unusually warm climatic conditions, and from below, due to geological fault lines, led to a huge release of gas hydrates, causing the eruption.

When the crater was first highlighted, earlier this year, it stoked many different theories including a manmade hoax, the work of aliens from outer space, a meteorite or even a stray missile. These are now discounted. 

'I've heard about this Bermuda Triangle idea, but I repeat, our scientists need to work on materials first and only then draw some definite conclusions. At the moment we don't have enough information,' said Mr Pushkarev, a climber, rescuer and explorer who led the experts to the scene in temperatures of minus 11C.

'We haven't worked with other funnels yet. We plan to do this, but first of all we need to understand completely the nature of this very funnel to be able to create a model which then we'll use to compare with other craters'. 

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater

The research to the largest of three known holes was initiated by the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration. Pictures: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Mr Pushkarev stated: 'As of now we don't see anything dangerous in the sudden appearance of such holes, but we've got to study them properly to make absolutely sure we understand the nature of their appearance and don't need to be afraid about them'.

Gas hydrates are ice-like forms of water containing gas molecules, notably methane. They exist in permafrost regions such as northern Siberia, but also under the oceans in some parts of the world. 

'The main element - and this is our working theory to explain the Yamal crater - was a release of gas hydrates. It turned out that there are gas hydrates both in the deep layer which on peninsula is several hundred metres down, and on the layer close to the surface', said scientist Vladimir Potapov before the latest expedition. 'There might be another factor, or factors, that could have provoked the air clap. Each of the factors added up and gas exploded, leading to appearance of the crater.'

He stressed: 'The crater is located on the intersection of two tectonic faults. Yamal peninsula is seismically quiet, yet the area of the crater we looked into has quite an active tectonic life. That means that the temperature there was higher than usual.'

The name Yamal means 'the end of the world', which ironically is also a description applied to the Bermuda Triangle for those lost on boats and planes. The areas stretches from the British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean to the Florida coast, to Puerto Rico. 

Professor Yeltsov said: 'There is a version that the Bermuda Triangle is a consequence of gas hydrates reactions. They start to actively decompose with methane ice turning into gas. It happens in an avalanche-like way, like a nuclear reaction, producing huge amounts of gas. That makes ocean to heat up and ships sink in its waters mixed with a huge proportion of gas.

'The same leads to the air to get supersaturated with methane, which makes the atmosphere extremely turbulent and lead to aircraft crashes'.

Comments (91)

Lindas fotos.
Catia, Salvador/Brasil
25/10/2015 02:07
2
0
There's a hole in my backyard. I just threw some dirt into it. Who knows what mysteries and wonders I might have buried. Perhaps I should have contacted "scientists."
Steve Kruckheimmer, Pennsylvania, USA
08/03/2015 01:08
1
10
I will get around to comment...when I stop yawning...!
Steve Kruckheimmer, Pennsylvania, USA
08/03/2015 01:03
0
6
Beam weapons are on line.
Insider, Usa
05/03/2015 19:15
1
1
When you hear hoofs outside your window think horses not zebras. This was not created by aliens nor did they happen overnight. Obviously they are a naturally occurring phenomenon ... that were used by aliens to bury Jimmy Hoffa. Either way the photography is amazing.
Mr. Obvious, California, USA
26/02/2015 23:00
2
0
I love the photography. The color against the stark gray and whites of the hole are incredible.
J Davis, St. Louis, Missouri
25/02/2015 21:11
5
0
Responce to; BillW, Cleveland, Ohio USA;
Please go take some courses in Quaternary Geology and/of Physical Geography at any university. The thermo-charst lakes over large parts of arctic regions are completely known in science and linked to known processes, and have at first glance nothing to do with the here described phenomenon (and definitely nothing to do with wild conspirator-anti-global-change theories of this and that..).
Ignorance is the root to a lot of unnecessary worry and food for politic-driven stupidity.
Let the phenomenon be described, investigated, theories tested - and then we will know the cause - that is what common sense and science both advocates when "new" things are discovered.
Norway Geologist working in the Arctic, Norway
25/02/2015 15:09
25
0
Totally looks like a job for Scully and Mulder- somebody needs to call and get them out of retirement.
JJ Shag, L.A.
25/02/2015 14:34
8
3
War or the World",all over again....aliens buried something under ground ...
It's Over, USA
25/02/2015 13:44
4
3
These are interesting pictures. I am fine with the restrained comments from scientists and amused by the comments from the wild imaginations of the other commentators. I think some of those commentators are confused by the size of these holes. At 16 meters, it is only fifty feet deep. The "lake" at about 10 meters is only about 35 feet deep. These are not gigantic phenomena. Extraordinary events were not required to create them. The most obvious explanations are probably the cause -- methane gas bubbling up and catching fire and other natural causes can cause this, like they have in the United States. But little green men from outer space may be more plausible to some of you.
Bob Cope, Columbus, Ohio
25/02/2015 10:46
11
0
I blame the Aliens. They landed there.
Not You, Hell
25/02/2015 10:30
3
2
Of course.. They are going all the way down there for nothing! Dudes, get off your fat asses!
Susan Laskowska Mason, Seattle USA
25/02/2015 10:16
0
4
Big blowout soon, fellow stalkers!
Александр Дегтярев, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine
25/02/2015 05:35
4
1
Whats at the bottom of the lake?
Snakebait, Rogue River USA
25/02/2015 05:26
3
0
This whole thing is a laughable farce. Go to Google Earth, type in Yamal Peninsula, zoom in and, Behold !! Thousands of craters !! Dotting the landscape like an adolescent with a bad case of acne. They've been there for decades, and more new ones are showing up every year. What -could- they be ? Such a mystery ! The Russians have been drilling in Yamal to extract natural gas since the early 80's. Their largest refinery and transmission plants are in Yamal. Go ask them. It sure isn't "climate change" folks. That's just a convenient fabrication, just like the Russian claim that "gee, we only know about three of these strange craters.... It must be the evil capitalist U.S.A. causing the world's oceans to overflow....."

Google Earth doesn't lie. The Russians and their communist progressive minions, however, do.
BillW, Cleveland, Ohio USA
25/02/2015 04:01
10
27

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR68.50USD63.91GBP80.65Other...