A huge, 262-foot crater has been discovered in Yamal — a region north of Siberia whose name means 'end of the world' — and scientists are unsure how it happened, The Siberian Timesreports.
The Siberian Times reports that a team of scientists was dispatched on Wednesday to survey the hole in the ground, which is believed to have formed two years ago. They will take samples of soil, water and air from the location.
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One of the seemingly obvious causes for the gigantic crater is a meteorite, but this does not seem to be the case.
"We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite,""We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite," said a spokesman for the Russian ministry's Yamal branch, without giving any further details.
The first images of the crater were believed to be fake. Now, however, footage from Zvezda TV confirms that the crater is definitely real.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, University of New South Wales polar scientist Chris Fogwill said the hole is most likely to be a geological phenomenon called a "pingo" — a collapsed one. A pingo is a mound of earth-covered ice, usually found in the Arctic and subarctic areas.
“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,” said Fogwill.