Scientists are baffled by the appearance of a huge crater discovered in Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula yesterday. The hole, approximately 262 feet in diameter, is “…large enough for several Mi-8 helicopters to fly into it.” While the interwebosphere argues over whether the hole is UFO or methane gas related (the area is near Bovanenkovo’s gas fields), one polar scientist is referring to the crater as a “pingo” — “a block of ice that’s grown into a small hill in the frozen arctic ground. The ice can eventually push through the earth and when it melts away it leaves an exposed crater.” (Dr Chris Fogwill)
A scientific team that includes two experts from the Centre for the Study of the Arctic and one from Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences will conduct an expedition to perform tests on the soil surrounding the area. A spokesman says the hold was definitely not caused by a meteorite. All I’m saying is: DO NOT GO IN THAT HOLE. It is *not* an invitation.
I’m sure it’s only coincidence that a certain semi-Russia/science fiction obsessed staff writer happens to be “on vacation” this week.