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Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-earth-attacks dept.
New submitter DavidMZ writes: The Siberian Times reports on a large crater of unknown origin that has appeared in the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia. The Russian government has dispatched a group of scientists to investigate the 80-meter-wide crater. Anna Kurchatova from Siberia's Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center believes the crater was a result of an explosion when a mixture of water, salt, and natural gas exploded underground. The Yamai Peninsula is known to hold Russia's biggest natural gas reserve."

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Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:40PM (#47469529)

    Hmmm?

  • Melting permafrost.

  • Is this some "found footage" for a Core sequel or reboot?
  • Its the Yeti !
    • by azav (469988)
      It's* the Yeti it's = it is Learn this.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Bob_Who (926234)

        It's* the Yeti it's = it is Learn this.

        Your rite. I cun't tipe gooder for ewe.

      • by Grog6 (85859)

        I read it as IT was the Yeti, implying an imminent attack by a hoard of Pennywise the Clowns Appearing as Yeti.

        I'm very happy to see this is not the case.

        Carry on with the pedantry.

  • by sconeu (64226) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:41PM (#47469549) Homepage Journal

    Where is the Doctor when we need him?

    • Not The Doctor, this looks like a job for Superman! Because it's gotta' be the Molemen beginning the invasion...

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEVNS3hWBwY

  • by Baby Duck (176251) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:45PM (#47469593) Homepage
    Let me guess. The explosion was caught on a Russian dashcam, amirite?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "it is believed to have been formed around two years ago"

  • nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

    by darkob (634931) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:50PM (#47469655)
    There are thousends upon thousends of similar holes (all filled with water) on Yamal peninsula. Many are few kilometers in diameter, most are smaller. This one may be new, but quite common in the area. Obviously it's due to gas eruptions of some kind. Landscape is like from the LOTR.
  • by Bob_Who (926234) <Bob@@@who...net> on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:51PM (#47469659) Homepage Journal
    Explosive frackulence
  • That giant hole shows burn marks, people.... BURN MARKS!!!!
  • scary thought, but what if it is an entry point of a miniature black hole?
    • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @04:50PM (#47470193)

      Then it's gonna suck.

    • by mbone (558574) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @08:56PM (#47471783)

      It would be more likely to be the exit point of a miniature black hole. The entry point would likely be a very small hole.*

      I call these exit wounds; the physics is that the exiting hypervelocity thing sets up a shock wave moving matter out of the way, and it's the shock wave excavates the material in the hole. (Even a black hole does this; a decent sized one (say 10^10 kg) is very small, so not much matter would be eaten during a transit of the Earth. It does, however, pull matter towards it and its wake sets up an explosive shock wave that fractures and evacuates material.)

      * A black hole the mass of the Sun would have a radius of ~ 3 km, so one the mass of the Earth is a few mm, and a likely primordial black hole, with a mass of maybe 10^10 kg, would have a radius of 10^-17 m, or well below the size of an atomic nucleus. Such a small black hole would not "eat" much in its passage through the Earth, which might take 20 - 40 seconds or so, because not much would actually hit it. It's gravitational wake, however, would be another matter. Such a primordial black hole would leave a tiny entrance wound, but a large exit wound.

  • Giorgio A. Tsoukalos wants to know.
    • I'm not saying the hole is the impact crater left from an alien landing.. but it was. It was aliens.

      • You completely destroyed the punchline...

        "I'm not saying the hole is the impact crater left from an alien landing... but it was aliens."

    • by gtall (79522)

      C'mon, this Giorgio, he KNOWS it was aliens.

  • by Justpin (2974855) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:58PM (#47469745)
    Derweze they found large gas deposits, a crane collapsed on-site and caused a rush of natural gas to the surface. USSR scientists thought it was best to burn it to reduce the environmental impact. That was in 1971, it is still burning.
    • by SailorSpork (1080153) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @04:47PM (#47470163) Homepage
      They call it "The Door to Hell." Video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • by RockDoctor (15477)
      That's actually a standard technique - a required action in some jurisdictions. If you've got significant H2S (hydrogen sulphide) in the gas stream, then burning it to produce the much less poisonous sulphur dioxide may the correct thing to do.

      The sequence of events that you relate implies that there was both significant H2S, and some sort of collapse of the surface casing and wellhead, which would have prevented bullheading and capping the well. If the well had been drilled under recent UK, Norwegian, Dut

      • by Justpin (2974855)
        How many times has that pistol been used? Also do you have a high speed camera for a dramatic slow motion shot of running away from the fireball, or a cool pair of sunglasses so you can walk away from the huge fireball? heh
        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          How many times has that pistol been used?

          Often enough.

          Also do you have a high speed camera for a dramatic slow motion shot

          Why? to fulfil your desire for snuff porn?

          heh

          Not laughing. People die in this sort of event.

          I just checked again. Your desire for snuff pornography of my friends and colleagues dieing still doesn't cause me hilarity.

          I was offshore when this [youtube.com] happened. Our radio operator relayed the "abandoning radio room" message at 2:50 into that video, and I still can't watch any more. We flew home (

  • Warn Tokyo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:59PM (#47469763)

    It hatched.

  • ..it's an Exogorth Lair!
  • All Hail our Gopher Overlords!

  • Some thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mbone (558574) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @04:18PM (#47469915)

    First, if this is 80 meters in diameter, or 40 meters in radius, and say at a minimum 40 meters deep, that’ s not quite 10^9 kg of soil moved up order 40 meters, requiring (very roughly) the equivalent of 60 tons of TNT, at a minimum, and thus an equivalent magnitude of ~ 3.2 (again, roughly). Such an explosion should be detectable on seismological networks, such as the ones looking for nuclear testing.

    Second, there is another mystery crater in Siberia - the Patomskiy crater [siberiantimes.com]. This one is in rock, not sediment, is about 160 meters in diameter, and is maybe 300 years old, but I have to wonder if they have a similar cause.

    Third, I am interested in quark nuggets and other types of condensed matter, such as Q-Balls, generically called Compact UltraDense Objects [uj.edu.pl] (CUDOs) by Jan Rafelski of U. Arizona. If these things exist in the appropriate masses, they could cause holes such as this and the Patomskiy crater. Even better, if this were to be caused by transiting CUDO, it would cause a "linear earthquake [arxiv.org], which should be easily recognizable in the seismic record.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Second, there is another mystery crater in Siberia - the Patomskiy crater [siberiantimes.com]. This one is in rock, not sediment, is about 160 meters in diameter, and is maybe 300 years old, but I have to wonder if they have a similar cause

      Interesting link, but nothing at all seems similar to this new hole in the ground.

      • Re:Some thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mbone (558574) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @04:49PM (#47470175)

        Patomskiy Crater is in solid rock, this new one is in soft sediment. Solid rock requires energy to fracture, and it is thus less likely to be removed from an excavation. By the way, these sorts of holes (assuming that they are explosive in origin) are similar to "bench-blasting" in explosives work; there is a huge literature on this.

        • I wonder if the scientists who go out there will bring along some drones to check out that monster hole and display some mad drone skillz. It would be neat if they did it similar to how some engineers used a drone to check out a Corevette car museum [youtube.com] that got noshed upon by a sinkhole.

          • by RockDoctor (15477)
            Why use a drone if you're flying in by helicopter, with your camp, food, etc? Just do standard aerial photography ; you've got the tools to hand already.
    • by Solandri (704621)

      First, if this is 80 meters in diameter, or 40 meters in radius

      That's one big-ass sandworm. (Look at the pic - it's not a crater, it's just a hole in the ground.)

    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      Second, there is another mystery crater in Siberia - the Patomskiy crater [siberiantimes.com]. This one is in rock, not sediment, is about 160 meters in diameter, and is maybe 300 years old, but I have to wonder if they have a similar cause.

      Now that is a very interesting phenomenon. Very, very interesting.

      Time to put on my geologist (hard) hat again.

      My first impression was "kimberlite diatreme?" Subsequent reading of the rest of the article certainly leaves the hypothesis on the table. Since we've never (

  • by Misagon (1135) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @04:53PM (#47470233)

    There are lots of gas pockets in Siberian and under the polar seas that are locked by cold temperatures only. As warming increases, more and more of these will burst, accelerating climate change.

    Scientists have been warning of these for many years. There has been lots of talks about a "tipping point" after which no reduction in man's greenhouse gas emissions would have any effect, when carbon levels in the atmosphere could increase because of cascading natural gas eruptions alone.
    This is why it is so important to reduce carbon emissions.

  • I'm pretty sure this new crater is just Nikola Tesla playing with his time machine again. After what he did to Tunguska, you'd think Russia would just ask him nicely to stay away or do his experiments in Canada or something.

    Hell, he could do them in Alberta and nobody would notice if the whole province was sent 50 years back in time. Except the hockey players wouldn't be wearing helmets. They'd notice that right away.

  • by riverat1 (1048260) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @05:29PM (#47470535)

    The hole is about the right size for one of Dune's sandworms.

  • by hAckz0r (989977) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @05:51PM (#47470679)
    Maxwel Smart agent 86 just prevented KAOS from turning their Super-laser on to the US Capital building last year. Unfortunately, as usual, he tripped over the power cord and spun the lazer around and blew a 40 meter hole in the USSR Siberian outback before his food tangled and pulled out the power cord. That incident of course caused a fair amount of damage and eventually forced the KAOS spaceship to perform an emergancy landing right behind the CONTROL building parking lot. Furtunatly 99 prevented Hyimie from repairing the craft which would have allowed the KAOS agents to excape. The Chief is in protracted negotiations with the Kremlin over the loss of the summer vacation home that was said to be on that property.

    I'm guessing that less than 2% of you know probably what the heck I'm talking about here.

    • I'm guessing that less than 2% of you know probably what the heck I'm talking about here.

      Missed it by THAT much? Agent 86 once said that after he almost shot his dick off. I wonder if he ever screwed Agent 99? Man, I used to think she was hot. And the Cone of Silence? I saw a real one in action while on jury duty once. The judge lowered this stupid contraption when he was talking with the lawyers. It made this white noise which gave everyone headaches but I had no problem hearing their entire conv

  • As if the loud (and completely unnecessary)noise of the helicopter on the video wasn't enough, did you have to keep it on the slowed down part of the video so that it sounds like the belching roar of Satan himself?

    • by MrKaos (858439)

      As if the loud (and completely unnecessary)noise of the helicopter on the video wasn't enough, did you have to keep it on the slowed down part of the video so that it sounds like the belching roar of Satan himself?

      It wasn't belching you heard.

  • We have large craters opening all the time in certain parts of Florida. Suddenly forming sink holes swallow people and homes in a single gulp. It seems that we have sucked so much water out of the ground that collapses occur suddenly. One poor guy went under with half of his home and it was deep enough that his body could not be retrieved. In effect the man fell into hell on his own bed.
  • "large enough for several Mi-8 helicopters to fly into it - not that they have."
    "the dark colour of the crater indicates 'some temperature processes', without explaining more what they may mean"
    " it could be caused by a space object - perhaps a meteorite...We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite. No details yet,"
    "one web claim suggested - evidence 'of the arrival of a UFO craft' to the planet."
    That's some quality journalism right there.
  • It was a joke that got out of hand.

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