A massive hole has formed in the ground in a remote part of Siberia known as Yamal, which means end of the world.
What caused the hole? No one knows yet, but a team of scientists are en route in hopes of figuring it out. The hole measures about 80 meters wide and has an unknown depth. Check out the aerial footage below.
The hole resembles a sinkhole, but dirt appears to have been thrown outside of the crater. This suggests maybe an impact of some kind. Speculation is ranging from an underground gas explosion to a meteorite impact.
A team from the Centre of the Study of the Arctic and the Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences plan to take several samples including air, soil and water according to a report from the Siberian Times.
A spokesman from Russia’s Emergencies Ministry ruled out a meteorite. “We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite,” he said to the Siberian Times.
Chris Fogwill, a polar scientist at the University of New South Wales, told The Sydney Morning Herald it’s likely a collapsed pingo. A pingo is a block of ice that has grown into a small hill in the permafrost. The pingo then melts and collapses, leaving behind an exposed crater.
“We’re seeing much more activity in permafrost areas than we’ve seen in the historical past. A lot of this relates to this high degree of warming around these high arctic areas which are experiencing some of the highest rates of warming on earth,” Fogwill told The Sydney Morning Herald.
We’ll soon have an answer on exactly what caused the massive hole as scientists get to the site today.