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Mysterious giant hole suddenly appears in Siberia

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/mysteri...-discovered-in-siberia-1605872539
Mysterious giant hole suddenly appears in Siberia
7/16/14

A mysterious giant hole and crater have suddenly appeared in Siberia, Russia. There are not many details right now, but the video captured from a helicopter shows a weird configuration with debris and signs of combustion around it. What the hell is this? Update: Scientists have reached the hole and filmed new video.

The hole is about 262 feet (80 meters) in diameter and it certainly doesn't look like a sinkhole, although you can see a large cavern under it.

The video was filmed from a helicopter over the Yamal Peninsula, the location of major gas fields discovered in 1972 and currently being exploited by the Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Of course, the internet is now raging with rumors about UFOs getting in or out of our planet's crust. The reality may be less exciting than that. The Siberian Times reports:

   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.

That sounds like the most likely possibility indeed. At least more plausible than the alternative theories: Meteors, giant worm from hell coming out of its lair, and drilling UFOs.

According to the Russian paper, there's an expedition on its way that "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."

Talking to The Sydney Morning Herald, polar scientist Dr. Chris Fogwill says it's likely to be a geological phenomenon called a pingo—a block of ice that's grown into a small hill in the frozen arctic ground:

   The permafrost [frozen earth] can be hundreds of metres thick, allowing for large ice features.

   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.

   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.
BornAgain2

http://news.yahoo.com/more-myster...ote-siberia-region-170903778.html
More mysterious craters found in Russia's remote Siberia region
7/29/14

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two more craters of unknown origin have been spotted in Russia's Siberia region, weeks after a similar-looking hole was found in the isolated northernmost area, a local paper reported.

The Siberian Times, an English-language newspaper, published pictures of two new giant holes discovered by reindeer herders, one located in the Yamal and the other in the Taymyr peninsula, both above the Arctic circle.

The paper said that theories of their origin range from meteorites or stray missiles to aliens or an underground gas explosion. The report could not be confirmed independently.

Russian state TV reported earlier this month that a giant hole had appeared in the gas-rich Yamal peninsula where temperatures plummet below -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sun barely rises in winter.

A Russian scientific expedition arrived at the site to inspect the first crater, nicknamed the "Yamal black hole", earlier this month, according to a recent report by state-run Vesti.ru website.

Yamal, inhabited by indigenous reindeer herders, is one of Russia's richest regions in natural gas.

A meteorite, which weighed about 10 metric tonnes, hit central Russia last year, injuring more than 1,000 people.

Experts drew comparisons with an incident in 1908, when a meteorite is thought to have devastated an area of more than 2,000 sq km (772 square miles) in Siberia, breaking windows as far as 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the point of impact.

(This version of the story corrects conversion in paragraph 8 of 2,000 sq km to 772 square miles (not 1,250 miles))

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