A mystery 328-foot-wide hole which appeared in Yamal, a remote part of Siberia does not only have scientists puzzled but also has prompted an urgent expedition to the site.
The hole was discovered by a helicopter crew working for an oil company in the gas-rich region, The Siberian Times reports.
A scientific expedition organised by the Yamal authorities have already left to investigate. The team includes experts from Russia’s Centre for the Study of the Arctic, the Cryosphere Institute of the Academy of Sciences and Russia’s Emergencies Ministry.
The cause of the hole’s sudden appearance is not yet known.
Experts said that the darkening around the inner rim of the crater indicated “severe burning” that scorched its edges.
A spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry’s Yamal branch has ruled out a meteorite strike and web speculation about the crater indicating “the arrival of a UFO craft” has likewise been dismissed.
An expert from the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre said global warming could be the culprit, releasing gases under the surface that mixed with water and salt and then exploded like a champagne cork.
The expedition team will take soil, air and water samples for analysis.
Source: The Siberian Times