Just a couple of days ago, we learned about some massive holes occurring in Siberia. The 260 feet wide hole was a mystery for the whole world. Luckily, a helicopter pilot spotted the hole on July 16. After a couple of days, two other similar holes were discovered close by. The second hole is 50 feet wide, while the third one is just 13 feet in diameter. The holes have approximated depths of around 350 feet.
One look at the photos of the Siberian mystery holes taken from helicopters will make you imagination run wild. What happened there? There are a couple of explanations some of them funny while others less so. Some believed that an alien ship landed, while others were sure that military tests are being performed. Serious researchers advanced a theory that turned out to be the closest explanation to the truth. Methane accumulation burst out. Some massive methane bubbles encountered proper climatic conditions which helped them escape the Earth’s grip. Methane gas is formed on the long term as organic matter decomposes. The cold arctic climate helped preserve most of the organic material in Siberia.
If you are a fan of impressive holes in the ground, follow this story of the Natural Trap Cave from Wyoming.
Siberian mystery holes, result of methane gas explosions through melted permafrost
Immediately after the craters were spotted, scientists went there to examine the area. Very high methane concentrations were discovered after the analysis. The air at the bottom of the hole has a 9.6 percent methane concentration, while normal concentration are at a 0.000179 percent level, Washington Post reports.
What could have caused the surprising holes in the ground? The area is covered by permafrost, which handled the methane pressure quite well for a long time. But the 2012 and 2013 summer temperatures were abnormally high, thus the permafrost began to thaw. The methane bubbles managed to push the frosted layer of ground and escape. The dirt laying around the crater suggests it was pushed out and supports the explanation.
Going further with the scientific explanation, this is not good news. Methane gas has a more powerful greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide, so these phenomenon could repeat often. For the moment, the Siberian communities are worried that a similar event might take place right next to them. Methane gas is dangerous and might provoke many casualties, besides the one a physical shock of such an explosion might produce. The Siberian mystery holes might look eerie from far away, but they pose real danger.