A giant crater that appeared on Siberia’s Yamal Penninsula without obvious cause, created a lot of curiosity among scientists, so when two others holes emerged, scientist and citizens alike were beyond baffled.

Both new holes, which are smaller in diameter than the original but of a similar shape, were spotted by reindeer herders who almost fell into them.

One hole, found in the Taz District of Siberia, along with the second on the Taymyr Penninsula, to the east, have generated theories that they came about from “meteorites, stray missiles, a man-made prank, and aliens, to an explosive cocktail of methane or shale gas suddenly exploding,” according to The Siberian Times.Crater1

Local residents report that the new Taz District crater formed on September 27, 2013, with a diameter of approximately 49 feet.

“There is ground outside, as if it was thrown as a result of an underground explosion,” Mikhail Lapsui, a deputy of the local duma, said. “According to the first, initially at the place was smoking, and then there was a bright flash. In the second version, a celestial body fell there,” Lapsui added, regarding different explanations emerging about the crater’s formation.

Locals report that the Taymyr Peninsula crater, which is in the vicinity of a remote outpost, is in the shape of a perfectly-formed cone. It is estimated to reach between 200 and 300 feet into the ground, and has a diameter of more than 13 feet.

Geologists, ecologists and historians alike have expressed puzzlement at the new formations; one noted that “it is not like this is the work of men, but also doesn’t look like natural formation.”

At the bottom of the first crater, which is approximately 230 feet deep, is an icy lake. The Siberian Times reports that “water is cascading down its eroding permafrost walls.”

The structure is reported to be so fragile that scientists could not climb deep into the lake, and had to send a camera down instead.

Although scientists have not yet offered a definitive solution as to how the craters formed, Daily Mail reports that the “version about melting permafrost due to climate change, causing a release of methane gas, which then forces an eruption is the current favorite.”



h/t: [Daily Mail]