The appearance of the giant crater on Siberia’s Yamal Penninsula, which baffled scientists, has been followed by the emergence of two new, smaller holes.
Both new holes, which are smaller in diameter than the original but of a similar shape, were spotted by reindeer herders who almost fell into them.
As to what caused the two new holes, one in the Taz District of Siberia and the second on the Taymyr Penninsula, to the east, The Siberian Times reports that “theories ranges from meteorites, stray missiles, a man-made prank, and aliens, to an explosive cocktail of methane or shale gas suddenly exploding.”
According to local residents, the new Taz District crater formed on September 27, 2013. It has a diameter of approximately 49 feet.
Mikhail Lapsui, a deputy of the local duma, said, “There is ground outside, as if it was thrown as a result of an underground explosion.”
Lapsui added that observers offer two different explanations of the crater’s formation: “According to the first, initially at the place was smoking, and then there was a bright flash. In the second version, a celestial body fell there.”
Locals report that the Taymyr Peninsula crater, which is in the vicinity of a remote outpost, is in the shape of a perfectly-formed cone. It is estimated to reach between 200 and 300 feet into the ground, and has a diameter of more than 13 feet.
Geologists, ecologists and historians alike have expressed puzzlement at the new formations; one noted that “it is not like this is the work of men, but also doesn’t look like natural formation.”
At the bottom of the first crater, which is approximately 230 feet deep, is an icy lake. The Siberian Times reports that “water is cascading down its eroding permafrost walls.”
Notably, the structure is reported to be so fragile that scientists could not climb deep into the lake, and had to send a camera down instead.
Although scientists have not yet offered a definitive solution as to how the craters formed, Daily Mail reports that the “version about melting permafrost due to climate change, causing a release of methane gas, which then forces an eruption is the current favorite.”
Photo Sources: Daily Mail Online