A massive crater has been discovered in Siberia, and might have been caused by changing temperatures in the region.
Made out of mostly ice, scientists think that the hole is around 260 feet deep and some 66 yards wide. While they are not sure, researchers think the huge crater might actually be a result of global warming.
“Could it be linked to the global warming? We have to continue our research to answer this question,” explained Andrey Plekhanov, Senior Researcher at the State Scientific Centre of Arctic Research. “Two previous summers – years 2012 and 2013 were relatively hot for Yamal, perhaps this has somehow influenced the formation of the crater. But we have to do our tests and research first and then say it more definitively.”
The crater is located in the far northern Yamal peninsula in Siberia. Around the huge hole are black rings that make it look like it was caused by a fiery explosion or a meteorite slamming in the earth. Plekhanov, however, does not believe an external explosion caused the crater at all.
“For now we can say for sure that under the influence of internal processes there was an ejection in the permafrost. I want to stress that it was not an explosion, but an ejection, so there was no heat released as it happened,” he said.
Instead, he, and many other researchers, believe that the hole was caused by the melting of a pingo. A pingo is a large piece of ice that forms on the earth, and slowly gets pushed into the ground. Global warming could be causing that hunk of ice to melt, which would leave only a crater in the land.
Whether or not this is true has yet to be seen, although global warming skeptics are no doubt going to refute Plekhanov’s claims.
A video of the crater can be seen below or on YouTube.