WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014 – The theories range from the conspiracy – Russia is shooting off missiles, to the biblical – the gates of Hell are opening – to the space oddity – meteorites hitting Earth – to the environmental – global warming is melting Siberia from the inside out.
Some of the more colorful explanations are space lasers, Martian attack and Mole Men.
But no one really knows why craters are appearing in Russia.
The first hole was discovered on the Peninsula of Yamal, an inhospitable place with a permanently frozen subsoil where temperatures can drop to 122 degrees below zero.
The local people call it the Nenets, or the “ends of the Earth.”
That 300-foot-wide crater was noticed via satellite.
They don’t know what happened, or why, but Russian Academy of Sciences is investigating.
“We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite,” The spokesman for the Yamal Emergencies Ministry told the Siberian Times. “No details yet.”
There goes the space oddity theory.
“According to local residents, the hole formed on September 27, 2013,” Mikhail Lapsui, a regional parliament deputy, or Duma. “Observers give several versions. According to the first, initially the place was smoking and then there was a bright flash. In the second version, a celestial body fell there.”
One theory suggested by Internet readers of no certain origin is that the explosions are due to ancient volcanoes, deep under ground. The explosions are from built up methane gas, which one scientist said she smelled when investigating the area.
As proof, the commenter notes what he sees as the appearance of white debris (ash) and black basalt gravel and bedrock in the debris around the holes.
The two most obvious answers are global warming or other Earth event. Scientists are saying it may be a pingo, or a block of ice below ground that is being pushed by Earth movements to the surface. The block of ice, as it warms closer to the surface (can anything warm at 122 degrees below zero?)
melts, leaving behind a hole.
But that does not explain the explosion of matter that can be seen around the perimeter of the hole. The most like explanation is that the Earth has gas, which is sure make the twelve-year-old minded readers chuckle.
If global warming, a permafrost melting could create gas that would build up creating the explosion or its the natural gas found in the area, and that which is a chief driver of Russia’s economy.
“The Siberian area the crater was found in — the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, which lies approximately 20 miles from the Bovanenkovo gas field — is one of the most geologically young places on Earth,” according to the science Web site From Quarks to Quasars. “It also happens to be extremely rich in gas. In fact, it contains the largest natural gas reservoir in all of Russia (it might even be the largest gas reserve on the planet).”
That gas reserve, particularly if combined with the permafrost theory could be creating Russia to literally implode from within.
The two new craters are propelling the natural gas theory. The second Yamal crater is in the area’s Taz district near the village of Antipayuta and has a diameter of about 49ft (15 metres).
The third hole, a perfectly formed cone shaped funnel, is in the Taymyr Peninsula. Local reindeer herders discovered it when they almost fell into it. Its depth is estimated at between 200 to 330ft (60 to 100 metres) and its diameter – more than 13ft (four metres).