A strange sinkhole at “the end of the world” has scientists baffled. Nobody knows quite why it’s there, or what could have prompted its formation. Early theories suggest it’s an effect of global warming, though no specific cause has been identified. Other speculate space debris could be to blame.
Not yet officially measured, the crater is believed to be roughly 30 meters in diameter. The depth is not yet known, either. The crater has popped up in Yamal, Siberia — the translation for “Yamal” is roughly “end of the world”. Soil accumulation around the edge of the crater is believed to have been thrown out from within the sinkhole.
The Siberian Emergency Ministry has officially ruled out a meteorite, but they offer no explanation of what it could be. Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre associate Anna Kurchatova believes the sinkhole was caused by a toxic mix of water, salt, sand, and gas under the Earth’s surface, causing an explosion, and thus the sinkhole. She blames global warming for the mixture, as the area where the crater exists was once a sea.
The Yamal peninsula is a major oil and gas bearing region for Russia, and Kurchatova believes a subterranean explosion is potentially devastating for that reason. Oddly enough, the hole is believed to be roughly two years old, and first thought an Internet hoax.
Soil, air, and water samples are being taken from the scene to study the phenomenon. Other scientists are backing up Kurchatova’s claim the sinkhole is the effect of global warming. University of New South Wales polar scientist Dr Chris Fogwill believes it’s something he calls a”Pingo”, where underground ice blocks melt away due to temperatures rising in periglacial regions like Siberia.
Source: The Siberia Times