In recent years, scientists have been baffled by a number of mysterious giant holes that have formed in Siberia.
Intrigued as to what was causing this peculiar natural phenomenon, a group of scientists from the respected Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, in Novosibirsk, Russia, set-out on an expedition to unearth their mysteries.
The scientists, including Dr Igor Yeltsov, deputy director of the institute, conducted a range of experiments at Yamal hole, in northern Siberia – one of the biggest and most famous newly-formed craters to be found in recent years.
Prior to these experiments, scientists had not previously had the opportunity to study the cause and effect of the craters – a unique natural occurrence – in such detail.
Upon the formation of the Yamal hole – which is up to 60 metres in depth – speculation was rife amongst the media and scientific community, sparking a flurry of theories ranging from UFOs, to stray missiles, to meteorites.
But what Dr Igor and his group of scientists found was a far more distressing explanation of the natural event.
Following their studies, they concluded that the formation of the giant holes were an alarming warning sign of a deadly threat to the northern regions of Siberia: irreversible climate change.
The scientists posited that the giant craters were formed by the melting of gas hydrates and the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas which, if released into the atmosphere, can cause catastrophic global temperature rises.
Continue reading: Study of huge Siberian craters shows Giant Pool of Methane below them