Recently a helicopter flying over the Yamal Peninsula of Siberia discovered a massive and mysterious giant crater. Speculation began almost immediately as to what caused this gaping hole–and rumors ranged from meteorite to an underground explosion to plenty of extra-terrestrial explanations as well. On July 16, researchers finally made their way out to the peninsula to take a look at the crater for themselves. They discovered that it’s the real deal– the expedition revealed plenty of new information, but the cause of the crater remains undetermined. When it was initially spotted, researchers thought they saw evidence of burning on the edges of the crater, though after further examination they found no traces of a fiery explosion. The expedition also determined that the crater is too far away from a nearby gas field which therefore rules out a gas pumping accident as the cause of creation.
More info: The diameter of the top of the crater was determined to be about 100 feet across, significantly smaller than the estimated 600 feet when the crater was first discovered. The crater is deep–approximately 300 feet–and at the bottom sits an icy lake. It remains unclear when the crater was created. Russian researchers are using satellite footage to try and determine when it first appeared. Current best guesses are in the past year or two.