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'Lake Baikal, where the ice queen cast her spell'
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009

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)

Looks like we got shot by something.
mike, Redding,CA
14/11/2014 11:24
5
7
So I guess hell has frozen over. That would explain why Obama is in office. Now we just need pigs to fly and that will seal the deal.
JP N, USA
14/11/2014 10:01
7
42
SINK HOLES do not look like this. Alien Space ship hiding places LOOK like this.
Seabee Chief, Guayaquil, Ecuador
14/11/2014 09:46
19
16
so thats what the gates of hell look like, and look its froze over .
aaron, Iowa
14/11/2014 09:17
5
6
I see a hole, is it on a knoll, can you mine coal, I won't tell a soul if it houses a troll, so lets take a roll and cascade down the shoal to see this so called hole,. or is it a ditch, maybe the home of a witch, naw, this is just a switch, after all it is a Siberian ditch, so it's really just a glitch, so how's this pitch,
Mr. Beans, Redding, CA USA
14/11/2014 07:41
7
18
It's the Thing, where's Kurt Russell?
Cathy, AZ
14/11/2014 06:55
4
6
It"s the Thing!
Cathy, AZ
14/11/2014 06:50
2
5
Tammy- I am dyslexic and while it may occasionally cause the transposition of letters, it has nothing to do with a lack of ability to spell. Please stop using this illness as an excuse for your claimed lack of spelling skill. Besides, you actually did fine except for the word "dyslexia" which many people do not know how to spell because they seldom use the word. Perhaps you are too hard on yourself or others have been hard on you and shaken your self confidence. Don't let either of those things hold you back. You can be anything you want and will be what you tell yourself you are.
Bob, CA
14/11/2014 04:25
6
5
Things I noticed that have me curious are:

1. the circular structures on the wall of the hole
2. the rim of raised soil around the entrance to the hole (which suggests it is not a sink hole but that something
applied a force from underground in an outward direction)
3. the patterns in the one dark face in the hole that makes it look like a lateral cavern is or was present makes
me wonder why there is such a marked difference in appearance not to mention the symmetry
4. the circular nature of the hole itself


Allen, Alaska
14/11/2014 04:16
31
1
Who knew there was a Siberian Times paper? Cool.
jerry, usa
14/11/2014 03:37
18
1
Many of us think this amazing thing is a sign that the creation does not belong to us. All of this is God's Alone.
www.dayspringcenter.com
John Boylan, Dallas Texas USA
14/11/2014 02:56
2
33
Pretty incredible.
* would love to know if these mysterious crater appear in
any earlier mspace images.
Tim Pluimlee, Renton wa.m USA
14/11/2014 02:40
2
1
I'm also interested in these holes ( caves ) if you will.....just like space....the unknown is intriguing.....and for someone to post about spelling needs to find some other "stupid" thing to do.

That's my 2 cents....
Robert Boutin, Bennington, VT
14/11/2014 02:39
8
1
I noticed that someone said why Siberia, Well Siberia for one is a very interesting area for Geology etc. When there is a significant melt the Permafrost begins to melt and the decay of biological s begin to be released as gases foremost is Methane. The Permafrost goes down quite a ways and sometimes when a hard freeze comes about quickly the gases get trapped so if the somehow can get released quickly and something could ignite them then well Kaboom, explosion. Hey, this is All hypothetical and pure conjecture so who the heck Knows. Good story huh. Most of my info came from past articles from surveys done in the Siberian Tundra . I might not have gotten everything perfect but what the heck.
Kevin, Usa
14/11/2014 01:57
0
1
"In its belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering as you are slowly digested over a…thousand years."
―C-3PO translating for Jabba the Hutt


I think that about sums it up.
Mike, Rochester, NY
14/11/2014 01:54
5
6

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