September 01, 2014

Note Book

Mysterious craters may signal global warming

Strange holes have appeared in the permafrost-covered Russian North, sparking debates over their origin and cause. The craters, first reported by reindeer herders, have now drawn the attention of scientists and piqued the curiosity of the entire country.

The first and largest hole was found on the Yamal Peninsula and made headlines after a witness posted a video on YouTube. Located about 30 kilometers north of Salekhard, the crater measures some 60 meters across and has smooth walls and an icy lake at its bottom. Speculation that the crater may have been caused by an impact event (like last year’s Chelyabinsk meteor) were dismissed after researchers found no traces of burning or radiation around its rim.

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