This week a mysterious landmark in Siberia came to the attention of the interwebs, and now Russian researchers are en route to investigate the massive crater with a highly unusual appearance. Estimated at about 260 feet wide, the hole looks as though it was deliberately carved out of the earth, and perhaps even hosted an explosion within its abyss. Thus the strange hole has attracted much speculation—including theorizing of the extraterrestrial variety. And while some are convinced it is evidence of the presence of UFO craft on the planet, experts are confident they will find a perfectly sensible scientific explanation for the curious pit (boo!). But will they really?
Siberia: Crusty but Active
Many conceive of Siberia as a harsh and frozen wasteland. And in fact, the particularly ominous-looking area of Siberia in which the crater resides, Yamal, roughly translates to “the end of the world.” Sounds charming.
One might associate this unforgiving territory—formerly home to such ancient creatures as prehistoric reindeer and woolly mammoths—with the eerily old and crusted over. So it’s surprising that Yamal is actually one of the geologically youngest places on Earth, meaning it was formed relatively recently and continues to have all kinds of planetary moving and a-grooving—especially of the gas variety. In fact, the area contains the world’s largest natural gas reserve, a reality for which Russia is ever grateful.
This is why in addition to non-alien explanations for the crater (like a meteor strike), some posit the pit came from a mighty gas explosion under the ground . . . in which case it's probably a good thing the area is sparsely populated. Another possibility: A massive block of ice from the area’s unyielding frozen conditions could have been pushed up to the surface by forces below, only to anticlimactically melt upon exposure to the sun.
A final option? Take a gander at the video and ponder a theory I’m actively working on: Inside the crater resides a population of nocturnal albino-mutants, transformed by Soviet-era biological weapons experiments, a la The Omega Man. Possible? Probable? You decide.