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Modern Mysteries

Scientists descend in to Siberian crater

November 16, 2014 | Comment icon 19 comments

The research team climbed down in to the crater. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Adha65
The winter weather has made it possible for researchers to climb down in to the hole for the first time.
Scientists attempting to find a conclusive explanation for the mysterious craters that appeared overnight back in July have finally had the opportunity to enter one of the holes themselves now that the colder weather has helped to solidify the sides.

Lead by Vladimir Pushkarev, director of the Russian Center of Arctic Exploration, the team abseiled 54ft in to the crater on to the top of a frozen lake that is thought to be around 34ft deep.

"We managed to go down into the funnel, all was successful," said Pushkarev. "We used climbing equipment, and it is easier to do this in winter, than in summer, with the ground now hard."
The researchers took a number of samples from the lake and the ice in the hope that they will help to determine once and for all what had caused the mysterious holes to appear.

The most recent theory suggested that the holes may have been opened up by subterranean explosions triggered by pockets of methane hydrates however this has yet to be confirmed.

"As of now we don't see anything dangerous in the sudden appearance of such holes, but we've got to study them properly to make absolutely sure we understand the nature of their appearance and don't need to be afraid about them," said Pushkarev.

Source: Weather Channel | Comments (19)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by GreenmansGod 8 years ago
I live in the land of sinkholes and it is not a sinkhole, that was an explosion. Sinkholes don't have debris ring around them.
Comment icon #11 Posted by toast 8 years ago
Has the black monolith been found already?
Comment icon #12 Posted by wingyflam 8 years ago
i would love to go down there
Comment icon #13 Posted by Hammerclaw 8 years ago
I look at that hole and it gives me the creeps. It reminds me of the burrows of digger wasps and other creatures and I entertain the notion, in the back of my mind, that something monstrous emerged from it.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Doug1029 8 years ago
Possible methane danger and humans just go ahead and climb down into it? Seems like you'd want to lower sensor first to see if the air is all clear. Then once you get to the bottom? Look around? We can see the bottom from the rim. No problem. Just toss in a match - no more methane problem. Doug
Comment icon #15 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
No problem. Just toss in a match - no more methane problem. Doug And if there was some down in there... Maybe no more investigators?
Comment icon #16 Posted by Doug1029 8 years ago
And if there was some down in there... Maybe no more investigators? There are some drawbacks. When I was a kid, there was an old gas well not far from my house. Somebody left a board over it so animals wouldn't fall in. Us kids would remove the board and toss in a match. Great cannon. Then we had to put the board back so it could recharge for a couple days. Doug
Comment icon #17 Posted by Myles 8 years ago
I'm sure they sent down sensors/meters to check for gasses. That is really a given. I don't see any reason they should not do this.
Comment icon #18 Posted by freetoroam 8 years ago
i would love to go down there can you take a couple from UM with you?
Comment icon #19 Posted by theotherguy 8 years ago
The next big Russian tourist attraction: "Yup, Ivan, looks like a big hole in the ground." "Sure does, Niko. Let's check it out from the bottom." --fifteen minutes later-- "Well, Ivan, still looks like a big hole in the ground, just from the bottom up." "Ya know something, Niko? This would make an epic Jacuzzi."

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