A picture of a giant hole in the ground in northern Siberia has prompted a scientific investigation into the cause of the puncture.

A team of scientists is expected to start examining the up to 80-meter-wide hole, which is located near a large gas field named Bovanenkovo in the area. Bovanenkovo was established in 1972 and is an important source of gas for Russia and other areas, according to the Siberian Times.

Some scientists have speculated that the hole was caused by global warming while others say it may have emerged after a meteorite or some object from space hit earth and caused a sinkhole.

Some people have said that they think the darker material along the inner rim of the hole suggests that there was some time of scorching done around the edges when it was formed.

Yamal authorities assembled a team of experts from the Centre for the Study of the Arctic, the Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Emergencies Ministry. The scientists will take samples while they are there.

The Yamal Peninsula area is known for its reindeer herds, and the remains of woolly mammoths have been discovered there previously. If the hole turns out to be the result of global warming, experts say that the incident could have negative implications for the area.

Source: Siberian Times, Photo Credit: Siberian Times