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back to article MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

A huge, enigmatic crater which has suddenly appeared in a remote region of Siberia was definitely not caused by an unidentified object falling from space, the Russian authorities insist. The mysterious crater seen from a passing helicopter. Credit: Konstantin Nikolaev "We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite. No …

Its a cover-up they have been breeding giant gofers

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Childcatcher

Giant Gofers

Mole Men!

Looks suspiciously like a sink hole. What could the government possibly be hiding down there? Dirt? Water? An underground civilization? (˙ǝuo ʇsɐl ǝɥʇ ʇoN :∀)

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Re: Giant Gofers

Sinkhole was my first thought, but that doesn't account for the debris round the hole. The idea of some trapped gas underground exploding makes more sense, it would explain the debris round the hole and its depth.

Certainly it doesn't look like a normal impact crater, it's too deep for that.

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Facepalm

Its a cover-up they have been breeding giant gofers

I briefly mis-read that as giant golfers.

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Anonymous Coward

"Its a cover-up they have been breeding giant gofers

I briefly mis-read that as giant golfers."

Maybe some mad Russian scientist is a fan of Caddyshack.

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Coat

Giant golfer? Not likely.

A giant golfer's divot would probably result in a shallower depression with a soil/debris spread generally in only one direction.

Now, they may have been creating a hole for a game of giant *golf*, but that wouldn't necessarily involve giant golfers.

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Re: Giant Gofers

Many, many moons ago folks thought that the bones of mammoth were the remains of giant burrowing animals. Apparently that was the rationale for why all mammoth bones were found in burial contexts.

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Re: Giant Gofers

Looks to me like what you get when a supersonic bomb impacts but does not detonate. I.e. a pure vertical impact crater ..

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Re: Giant Gofers

Alien Whack-A-Mole? Waiting for the next hole to appear....

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Re: Giant Gofers

That was my first thought as well (hypersonic penetrator) and haven't seen anything yet to differ. The bottom profile is what's need now.

[Maybe a "Get Real" postcard from Obama to Putin, only called to his attention recently now that it's required?]

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Re: Giant golfer? Not likely.

Scott,

You've never seen me golf... Put me in the rough and I can have a have a mini strip mine in a matter of a few minutes. They should have named that game "damn it" instead of golf

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Re: Giant Gofers

Doesn't look as it it were that powerful an explosion either, the ejecta doesn't seem to have strayed to far from the hole, though not a good photograph to tell. It's much too vertical for an impact crater, so venting gas is the most logical explanation.

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Anonymous Coward

Ah Caddyshack

- I want you to kill every gopher on the course!

- Correct me if I am wrong sir, but if I kill all the golfers, they are going to lock me up and throw away the key!

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Unhappy

Re: Giant golfer? Not likely.

You've never seen me golf

You, I might have seen. My ball in the rough on the other hand..natch. I play either bright yellow or bright orange and still the buggers can vanish without trace barely an inch off the fairway.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Giant Gofers

"hypersonic penetrator" - fnarr!

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It's obvious

Gaia squeezed a pimple.

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I would check for Mynock's before going inside.

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Do you mean Morlocks?

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Too be on the safe side, check for both. And er, molemen too.

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Now you're just being silly! Morlocks are a fictional made up creature

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morlock

Whereas Mynoks are real.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mynock

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Mynocks, Morlocks and Molemen...

would be a great song title

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Childcatcher

Gentlemen, check your references please.

We are discussing what seems to be a Sarlacc.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Sarlacc

Shame on you for spreading fake knowledge around!!!

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Coffee/keyboard

To the Russian Death Crash Videos

They hold the truth (As well as tonnes of crashes).

Of course other Crash related videos are available on the internet.

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Um - nothing to say or show how big it actually is?

10 metres wide ? 100?

Needs a yak herder peering in to give scale.

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These a fair amount of data here:

http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/first-pictures-from-inside-the-crater-at-the-end-of-the-world/

Reminds me of an Edward De Bono lateral thought problem. My first stab would be a plug of ice forced up through the soil; possibly by gas pressure.

p.s. If you look at the the final video you can see a number of small circular lakes as the helicopter comes to land which could be holes like this one but eroded and filled with water over a period of time.

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Devil

Size

The pilot and passenger who originally found it estimated a diameter of 870 meters. As to cause, were I to speculate I would suggest pressurized methane beneath permafrost, with failure when pressure exceeded the strength of the permafrost. You can pick either melting permafrost or increasing methane and keep both sides of the GW debate happy.

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Re: Size

A burst methan bubble was my first thought as well.

but I could only imagine this as a result of the global warming ...

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Pint

It doesn't take a rocket scientist...

... to conclude that it is really an alien spacecraft crash site.

Or, it really takes not a rocket scientist to conclude that this is an alien spacecraft crash site.

Same words, slightly different order, take your pick!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It doesn't take a rocket scientist...

It wasn't a crash. Tunguska was the crash as they arrived. This was a take-off as they departed from their underground base.

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Alien

Re: It doesn't take a rocket scientist...

It looks like something of alien origin burst out of the ground. What we need to do next is search the opposite side of the planet for the entry wound.

It was either this icon or Joke Alert, take your pick.

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Shai-Hulud of the tundra?

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Pint

Shai-Hulud of the tundra?

I was going to go with Sarlacc, but I like yours better. Now I have a vision of an internet meme of Putin riding the sandworm.

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Devil

Re: Shai-Hulud of the tundra?

JIHAD!!!!

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Pint

Re: Shai-Hulud of the tundra?

Thanks a lot. Now I'm stuck with the image of a bare-chested Vladimir Putin riding a sandworm across the muskeg.

Well, it gives me an excuse to head off to the local watering hole to drown those pesky neurons.

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Devil

Aliens?

They have better sense than bother with the kind of people who think aliens would bother.

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Trollface

Re: Aliens?

We have nothing to hide from Aliens, therefore nothing to fear..right?

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A bit of a clue - it is less than 20 miles from a major gas drilling site. I don't know if they employ fracking. If you look at a wider view of the site, for example on google earth, it looks like a moonscape of cratered permafrost.

Explosive release of methane expelled from methane hydrates or melting permafrost, as a result of high summer temperatures. Possibly, build-up of gas seeping from lower level gas deposits trapped under the surface layer of permafrost, erupting like a gas geyser.

Consistent with, but not proof of, global climate change.

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you're very obviously one of them.

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Alien

envmod? Mister David Vincent, I presume?

"On peut vous aider?"

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This big fucking hole is consistent with a big fucking hole. That much is certain. Beyond that it's consistent with a lot of things.

A big hole like this is consistent with, but not proof of, the Ninth Seal of Y'Gloth being washed in the menstrual blood of a virgin Laplander born under a Sulphur Moon as the final element in awakening Cthulhu, Lord of Silence, to rend in twain the Angelic Gates imprisoning Leviathan and begin the March of 'The Not'.

The big hole is certainly interesting, but you're melding a number of issues together and causing you unnecessary concern, and leading your thoughts in the wrong direction. Regardless of your beliefs/feelings/happy ignorance, you're doing yourself, and others, a disservice with crazy talk. There are a lot of questions and concerns about fracking, there's no doubt. As it stands right now I have declined to lease my property in Western Pennsylvania because as an Engineer I'm not satisfied with the information that's presently available. I'm not saying anything beyond I want to know more. It's far too early for anyone to have valid information regarding the mega-fracking projects. This is a time for watching, not acting.

But when you pop off with factually limited commentary like that you're giving the 'other side' ammunition; that's pretty dumb. You can't draw corollaries between the pockmarked surface and the Big Hole. The not Big Hole and other undulations in the permafrost are a natural function of permafrost. It looks solid and it feels solid (and cold) but it's actually a very delicate thing that a few research projects I'm aware of are studying permafrost as a model in chaotic numbers theories.

Permafrost is kind of like a box packing peanuts. It fills a void, but is not very dense. Permafrost is a lattice work of solids like rocks and dirt with the spaces in between filled with ice. Natural disturbances in the Earth (tectonic movements for example) don't have to be strong enough to move the solids in the lattice, just disturb the ice enough to allow some solids to move. Gravity, being impervious to the cold, still works though, so the solids drop onto solids below and that chain reaction occurs until the solids encounter a space where the lattice can support the new solids.

Less common, but extra cool, is ice 'lensing' where, for example, a rock on the surface is heated sufficiently by the Sun to partially melt the snow and ice it is resting on (it really doesn't take much) and a sudden temperature drop (very common) 'flash freezes' the melted snow/ice. It can create a surprisingly clear lens that let's sunlight beneath the surface of the snow/ice. The resultant heat is then trapped in a very well insulated place thus being much more efficient at melting the ice above, and below. My previous paragraph deals with how the liberated solids behave.*

Incidentally, risks of melting the ice in the permafrost lattice is why buildings down in the Tundra and Steppe are built on stilts and, in big structures, air is pumped out from the underside of the buildings. The air trapped beneath an insulated building is more than sufficient to change an above grade building into a below grade bunker very quickly.

If you're interested in something neat, check out the heat pipes that support the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska. There's something like 125,000 of those posts that support the pipeline. They transfer ground heat into the air to prevent it from destabilizing the permafrost and causing the pipeline to collapse. It's really cool.

Anyway, my point wasn't to be a dick (hope I didn't come off as one). I just thought it was important you knew that disturbances in permafrost are common, varied, and sometimes (like with the Big Hole) really bizarre. Jumping straight to a commercial culprit (any culprit beyond 'nature' really) without understanding other naturally occurring possibilities first isn't ever going to result in factual answers (factual being, I assume, what you prefer).

*That lensing effect I mentioned earlier is a very, very cool thing. When we still had a field office in Dead Horse, Alaska the phenomenon would sometimes occur when exhaust from a piece of equipment left idling would partially thaw the ice and would instantly freeze again when the equipment was moved. It sometimes created a startlingly clear window through the ice. Sometimes even far enough down to see the road we drove on in the summer. Very cool.

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Pfft! Facts!

You can prove anything with facts!

I find your lack of faith in the competence of national governments to maintain alien conspiracies for generations... well, not really all that disturbing, now that I think of it.

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Anonymous Coward

"Consistent with, but not proof of, global climate change."

Strange thing to say when AGW has been proved beyond credible scientific doubt to be happening for well over a decade now.

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Happy

It's the lair of the white worm

Send in the boy scouts!

For the younger readers this film contains one of the funniest sex scenes ever filmed.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095488/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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Devil

Welcome to my underground lair.

The Pacific volcano lair is being remodeled with upgraded shark tanks and other evil accoutrements, so we relocated to the Siberian summer lair for the duration.

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Re: It's the lair of the white worm

Sex scene? Oh, WHERE's Dabbs when you need him?

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Joke

reminds me

Of a movie i just watched.

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Pingo!!

What they are almost certainly seeing is a melted PINGO. In areas of permafrost (like most of Canada) the ice underground can form hills up to a 1000ft high. They are basically a big chunk of ice covered in soil.

If the temperature in the are warms enough, the ice melt and you end up with a crater full of water. You can see an almost identical feature here:

http://icecubicle.net/2010/03/24/phenom-pingos-of-the-far-north/

http://icecubicle.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/pingo-ice-lens-shattered.jpg

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Coat

Re: Pingo!!

a melted PINGO

that'll be a pingone, then.

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