END TIMES? Massive, Unexplained Crater Appears at the "end of the world" in SIBERIA: Yamal, Russia [VIDEOs/Pics] -

A nearly 80-metre-wide crater recently discovered in northern Siberia (video screenshot)

A massive, unexplained giant hole has appeared in northern Siberia, prompting wild speculation about meteors, UFOs, underground cities and more.

The most likely explanation is anything but supernatural, scientists say, but none the less extraordinary.

The Siberian Times first reported the hole – which is more than 79.25 metres or 260 feet across and of unknown depth – was spotted from helicopters flying over the gas-rich Yamal Peninsula.

A team of Russian scientists is on its way to investigate the crater, which is apparently large enough for several Mi-8 helicopters to fly into – although none have.

Conspiracy theory websites have speculated the crater was caused by alien spacecraft or related to the “hollow Earth” theory.
The region supplies a great deal of fuel to Europe, thus serves as a major influence and importance.

Mikhael Love, IIO


Opinions divided over mysterious 80-metre wide crater in northern Siberia

July 16, 2014
Colin Cosier and Simon Morris

The hole at the "end of the world"

A large hole in Siberia spotted by helicopter, has prompted speculation about UFOs and meteors, but it's probably a feature formed by melting ice, says an Australian scientist.

A giant, mysterious crater in northern Siberia is probably a melted ice formation rather than a hole from a meteor, says an Australian polar scientist.

The Siberian Times reported the giant hole in the Yamal Peninsula - which reportedly translates to “end of the world” - is up to 80 metres wide and has an unknown depth.

A team of Russian scientists have been dispatched to investigate the crater but University of New South Wales polar scientist Dr Chris Fogwill says it’s likely to be a geological phenomenon called a pingo.

An image of the crater taken by an engineer in a helicopter. Photo: Screen grab

“Certainly from the images I’ve seen it looks like a periglacial feature, perhaps a collapsed pingo,” Dr Fogwill said.

Dr Chris Fogwill. Photo: Supplied

A pingo is a block of ice that’s grown into a small hill in the frozen arctic ground. The ice can eventually push through the earth and when it melts away it leaves an exposed crater. Dr Fogwill says the permafrost [frozen earth] can be hundreds of metres thick, allowing for large ice features.

“It’s just a remarkable land form.

“This is obviously a very extreme version of that, and if there’s been any interaction with the gas in the area, that is a question that could only be answered by going there,” Dr. Fogwill said. 

The Siberian hole appeared about 30 kilometres from Yamal's biggest gas field, Bovanenkovo, fuelling speculation there had been some sort of underground explosion.

That theory is supported by the fact the earth appears to have been push up from underground.

A Russian engineer reportedly filmed the hole from a helicopter and the vision has since been shared widely online.

Initial reports and comments labelled the video a fake.

But Dr Fogwill says pingos are a natural occurrence and can be so large they can been seen in satellite imagery in the arctic.

And global warming may mean more pingos in the future.

“We’re seeing much more activity in permafrost areas than we’ve seen in the historical past. A lot of this relates to this high degree of warming around these high arctic areas which are experiencing some of the highest rates of warming on earth,” Dr Fogwill said.

A team of Russian scientists was reported to be arriving at the site some time on Wednesday, 16, July 2014.

& Via

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.

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.

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.

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