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AKIPRESS.COM - Russian scientists believe a giant crater which appeared in far northern Siberia was caused by rising temperatures in the area – not a meteorite, Daily Mail reports.
Andrei Plekhanov, a senior researcher at the Scientific Research Center of the Arctic, said the mysterious hole which appeared in the gas-rich area earlier this week was most likely the result of a “build-up of excessive pressure” underground due to the region's changing temperatures.
Plekhanov traveled on Wednesday to the 79-meter wide crater in the Yamal Peninsula of northern Russia to study how the crater was formed. He said 80 percent of the crater appeared to be made up of ice and that there were no traces of an explosion.
The discovery eliminates the possibility that a meteorite had struck the region.
After the hole was discovered, there was speculation online about the crater indicating “the arrival of a UFO craft.” But experts said the cause is more likely to be global warming releasing gases under the surface, which then explode like a Champagne cork.
The darkening around the inner rim of the crater indicates “severe burning” which scorched its edges.
The expedition organized by the Yamal authorities included experts from Russia's Center for the Study of the Arctic, and also the Cryosphere Institute of the Academy of Sciences.
They took samples of soil, air and water from the scene and were accompanied by a specialist from Russia's Emergencies Ministry.
Anna Kurchatova from the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center, thinks the crater was formed by a mixture of water, salt and gas igniting an underground explosion, a result of global warming. Gas accumulated in ice could have mixed with sand beneath the surface, and then mixed with salt.
10,000 years ago this area was a sea.