A massive and mysterious crater was recently discovered in a remote part of the Yamal Peninsula in Northwest Siberia. According to The Siberian Times, the first round of scientists to explore the 70-meter-deep hole have returned from their expedition without a precise explanation for how it came to be, simply saying that its formation was a natural phenomenon. Their next task is to work with satellite surveillance crews to pinpoint the exact time when the crater opened. The video below is from their first trek to the hole.
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What’s the Big Idea?
The author of the Siberian Times piece lists a number of possible (and somewhat less plausible) theories as to how the crater formed. We can probably rule out aliens and stray meteorites. We can hypothesize that unusually high temperatures in the region over the past few years likely played a role. One theory the scientists tossed around involved the amount of permafrost in the soil and how internal processes and pressure could cause it to be expelled. At the bottom of the crater is an icy lake that is being warmed through exposure to the sun.
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