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Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'

By 0 and 0 and 0
15 July 2014


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.

Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'

Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'

Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'

Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'

Large crater appears at the 'end of the world'

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.

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

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. 

Comments (172)

There is a lake next to it.... All I can say is Florida....
uisignorant, detroit
16/07/2014 21:18
Judging by the images, it looks like something came from up to down as the superficial part of the hole looks bigger than it's inner. Unless something came from below digging to up(slowly). Well... in the end, we won't be sure of sh*t anyway.
Ark, EUA
16/07/2014 21:13
OK. Who found it? Are there plans to descend into it? What is the estimated depth? Has anyone gone to the edge to look in? Did the helicopter shine a spotlight into it? Geez!
Roger Walker, Wasilla
16/07/2014 21:10
Look at Google maps of that area. It is riddled with holes. Must be a natural phenomenon
Peter, USA
16/07/2014 21:09
Global Warming ? I don't think the Russian People are gona fall for that BS.
J.Philip, Louisi-Yana , USA
16/07/2014 20:38
Looks like an old volcano magma cone fell in upon itself. Not much of a mystery.
J knowles, Usa
16/07/2014 18:02
Planet discovered outside of hole baffles scientists.
X Winterview, Australia
16/07/2014 18:02
why video so short?
tomba, sac california
16/07/2014 17:01
Like craters in AZ and on the moon, it appears to be a crater. The queston is why such an impact of meteorite would not be noticed by seismographers.
Lon, USA/Russia
16/07/2014 16:38
.................mabey siri was right?
yourself, phoenix
16/07/2014 15:48
can only be aliens going down or demons coming up..
luke, australia
16/07/2014 15:26
This looks and sounds like garbage reporting. Provide the GPS coordinates for this site. Google Earth satellite imagery can be used to identify this hole/crater. Older images can be used to determine when this "mysterious" feature appeared.
OnTheBorder, USA
16/07/2014 15:18
Adding to Justin's comments, combinations of methane, recent earthquake/volcanic activity that has/is currently active within both Siberia and Alaska could explain this phenomena. Investigation needs to put a thorough conclusion to what is going on. Ignoring it could become at your own peril.

Tim, Alaska, USA
16/07/2014 15:15
Gaia gotta pimple.
Flicker, Baltimore, USA
16/07/2014 14:43
The hole is typicial with something coming out of the ground, not exploding out other wise the dirt would be wide spread
Eric , Medowie
16/07/2014 14:37

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