Crater Big Enough to Fit Several MI-8 Helicopters Discovered in Siberia’s ‘End of the World’ (VIDEO)
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | July 18, 2014 10:52 AM EST
A giant 80-metre crater enough to fit several MI-8 helicopters has been discovered in north Siberia's Yamal Peninsula, which when translated meant "end of the world."
Discovered and filmed by engineers who were flying past in a helicopter, the giant hole is up to 262 feet (80 metres) wide with a still unknown depth. The hole is within Russia's key strategic oil and gas region - the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
The Siberian Times reported a scientific team has been sent to investigate the hole and will arrive at the scene on Wednesday.
The crater's sides were seen to be composed of still fresh earth, indicating that it must have been created in the last few years, the Siberian Times added.
Experts immediately rejected possible assumptions that the hole could be home to a UFO, nor was it the result of a meteor strike.
Anna Kurchatova from Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre told the Siberian Times the whole was likely created by an underground explosion caused by a mixture of water, salt and gas.
An "alarming" melt in the permafrost released gas similar to a Champagne bottle popping, she suggested.
The Yamal Peninsula is a strategic oil and gas producing region of Russia. The giant hole was found close to a forest some 30 kilometres from Bovanenkovo, Yamal's biggest gas field.
Discovered in 1972, Gazprom developed the gas field and started production in 2012. The Yamal peninsula is bordered by the Kara Sea - Baydaratskaya Bay - to the west, and the Gulf of Ob on the east. It extends some 700 kilometres over mainly permafrost.
However, a report ran by portal rt.com said such occurrences were actually normal in the region.
"Occurrences like this are nothing new in Yamal," rt.com cited a spokesman for the governor's office telling Interfax-Ural. "This happened last year, as well as two years ago... earth and ice behave unpredictably an underwater river might have moved the soil," he added.
He stressed these processes repeat over time as surfaces melt and freeze over again. "So, there's no emergency to speak of here."
Watch the video of the giant crater here.
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