Quantcast

Extraordinary Photos From Inside the Siberian Methane Blowhole

Climate

Remember those mysterious blowholes that appeared last summer in the Siberian tundra? The ones with the high methane content that some observers said signaled Armageddon for the climate, a sign of runaway climate change?

Scientists from the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration and other scientific institutes descended into the largest of the three craters to take measurements and gather information—and to bring back some amazing photos, taken by the director of Centre of Arctic Exploration Vladimir Pushkarev.

"A mission this week to the newly-formed crater on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia is expected throw fresh light on how this and other such phenomenon were formed," wrote The Siberian Times. "Experts are working on a theory that gas hydrates caused underground explosions in the same way as eruptions under the Atlantic Ocean may have led to the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon."

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

The crater contains a lake with a now-frozen surface and iced walls.

Pushkarev said that the scientists will go back to their institutes to assess the information they gathered.

"They did radiolocation tests at a depth of 200 metres, took probes of ice, ground, gases and air," he said. "Now they all went back to their institutes and labs and will work on the material. The next stage is processing of the gathered information. Then we plan to explore the surrounding area, comparing images from space and even those taken in the 1980s, to understand if there are—or were —some similar objects."

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Pushkarev said it's too early to draw any conclusions about how or why the craters formed, including whether the exceptionally warm Siberian summers of 2012 and 2013 collapsed the permafrost, creating the craters and releasing the methane gases. The Siberian Times notes that theories that the craters were a manmade hoax, the work of aliens from outer space or created by a meteorite or a stray missile have been discounted.

"I've heard about this Bermuda Triangle idea, but I repeat, our scientists need to work on materials first and only then draw some definite conclusions," said Pushkarev. "At the moment we don't have enough information."

They do have some pretty extraordinary pictures however.

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Siberian Crater Mystery Solved

Methane Blow-Holes Sign of Runaway Climate Change?

Must-See Video: Arctic Emergency, Scientists Speak

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Eating healthy can help you lose weight and have more energy.

Read More Show Less
arinahabich / Stock / Getty Images

By Sydney Swanson

With April hopping along and Easter just around the corner, it's time for dyeing eggs (and inadvertently, dyeing hands.) It's easy to grab an egg-dyeing kit at the local supermarket or drug store, but those dye ingredients are not pretty.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Aerial of farmland and mountains near Seaward Kaikoura Range in New Zealand. David Wall Photo / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images Plus

By Jordan Davidson

New Zealand's pristine image as a haven of untouched forests and landscapes was tarnished this week by a brand new government report. The Environment Aotearoa 2019 painted a bleak image of the island nation's environment and its future prospects.

Read More Show Less
heshphoto / Image Source / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Eating even "moderate" amounts of red and processed meat increases the risk of colon cancer, according to a new study of nearly half a million adults in the United Kingdom.

Read More Show Less
The view from the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan. Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Sierra Searcy

This week, progressive Democrats and youth advocates are launching a nationwide tour to win support for the Green New Deal. Though popular, the ambitious plan to tackle climate change has struggled to earn the endorsement of centrist Democrats in Rust Belt states like Michigan, the second stop on the tour.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mike Taube / Getty Images

If you are looking for something to do this Easter weekend, why not visit your nearest national park? All sites run by the National Park Service (NPS) will be free Saturday, April 20 as this year's National Park Week kicks off, USA Today reported.

Read More Show Less
A new EPA rule on asbestos does not say anything about the asbestos currently in the environment. Bob Allen / Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a new rule on asbestos Wednesday that it says will "close the door" on new, unapproved uses. But public health advocates warn the rule could actually open the door to increased use of the carcinogenic fibrous material.

Read More Show Less
A mountain woodland caribou bull in the Muskwa-Kechika Wilderness area in northern British Columbia, Canada. John E Marriott / All Canada Photos / Getty Images

It's heartening, in the midst of the human-caused sixth mass extinction, to find good wildlife recovery news. As plant and animal species disappear faster than they have for millions of years, Russia's Siberian, or Amur, tigers are making a comeback. After falling to a low of just a few dozen in the mid-20th century, the tigers now number around 500, with close to 100 cubs — thanks to conservation measures that include habitat restoration and an illegal hunting crackdown.

Read More Show Less