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posted by azrael on Monday July 28 2014, @07:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the hidden-depths dept.

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

The giant hole in the remote energy-rich Yamalo-Nenetsky region first came to light in a video uploaded to YouTube that has since been viewed more than seven million times. "The crater is enormous in size--you could fly down into it in several Mi-8s (helicopters) without being afraid of hitting anything," the person who posted the video, named only as Bulka, wrote.

The crater is located in the permafrost around 30 kilometres (18 miles) from a huge gas field north of the regional capital of Salekhard, roughly 2,000 kilometres northeast of Moscow. [The deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vasily Bogoyavlensky] said the crater was likely to have been caused by the melting of underground ice in the permafrost, freeing gas that then built up high pressure and broke through to the surface. "At some point an explosion took place without any flame," Bogoyavlensky said.

In an effort to discover its mysteries, regional governor Dmitry Kobylkin sent a group of scientists into the tundra where the crater is located in the Yamal peninsula--which translates as "the end of the world", Interfax reported.

 
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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by e_armadillo on Monday July 28 2014, @07:44PM

    by e_armadillo (3695) on Monday July 28 2014, @07:44PM (#74747)

    The scientists would then find that some ancient power like the Tesseract caused the crater

    --
    "How are we gonna get out of here?" ... "We'll dig our way out!" ... "No, no, dig UP stupid!"
    • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Monday July 28 2014, @07:49PM

      by cafebabe (894) on Monday July 28 2014, @07:49PM (#74751) Journal

      I've been following this phenomena for a while. Some sinkholes are obvious cases of limestone subsidence. However, some cases remind me of the science fiction book Earth by David Brin [wikipedia.org]. If you're unfamiliar with this book, it is worth reading for its accurate futurology.

      --
      1702845791×2
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Monday July 28 2014, @08:06PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 28 2014, @08:06PM (#74756) Journal

        Accurate and Future can't logically be put in the same sentence.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by maxwell demon on Monday July 28 2014, @09:02PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday July 28 2014, @09:02PM (#74775) Journal

          So you're saying the sentence you just wrote is not logical? :-)

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday July 28 2014, @09:11PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 28 2014, @09:11PM (#74780) Journal

            It most certainly isn't logical. Its probably not even accurate.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday July 29 2014, @05:48PM

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @05:48PM (#75153) Journal

          Using Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation we can accurately predict the future speed of a dropped object if we know it's mass.
           
          QED

      • (Score: 2) by khallow on Tuesday July 29 2014, @01:21AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 29 2014, @01:21AM (#74835) Journal

        "Earth" was ok, but I found myself rolling my eyes at the fate of Switzerland. In a nutshell, Switzerland becomes a nuclear wasteland because Brin hates rich people and Swiss banking law. As a result of said unfortunate event, Switzerland became a naval power. Seriously.

        • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Tuesday July 29 2014, @09:42AM

          by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @09:42AM (#74921) Journal

          I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't read the book. However, for a book written in 1990, I thought it was perceptive to extrapolate wealth inequality. From the perspective of 1990, these funds were most likely to accumulate in Swiss bank accounts. Indeed, we can only presume how much money the richest 1% has deposited with UBS and other banks.

          You may think militarization is unlikely but Switzerland is a special case where gun ownership is practically mandatory [wikipedia.org]. On that basis, I'm willing to entertain it as a special case. You may argue that there is no precedent for a full-out war with Switzerland. However, with sufficient inequality and sufficient transparency (through hacking or disclosure), means, motive and opportunity may arise.

          --
          1702845791×2
          • (Score: 2) by khallow on Tuesday July 29 2014, @07:17PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 29 2014, @07:17PM (#75196) Journal

            I thought instead that this book was a typical facile bit of wish fulfillment from yet another sci fi author who was a bit ignorant of economics and human nature. For example, if all these countries nuke Switzerland, then where will their parasitic elites stash their loot? Instead, it would have been easy (and use a lot less of those valuable nuclear weapons) to do a bit of international posturing, have Switzerland deliver a few high profile black hats for public execution, declare victory, and carry on the status quo.

            Also, anyone desperate enough to nuke Switzerland, is desperate enough to nuke their far more convenient neighbor. My view is that most parties who care enough about income inequality to kill people tend to be the same kind who'll burn a local corner deli down rather than walk/drive the long miles to any place that has rich people in it. Nuking Switzerland takes more planning and logistics than a local war or just targeting the local rich people.

            Finally, the sort of people who would go way, way out of their way to nuke Switzerland, wouldn't stop with just that bit of destruction. They'd have a long list. It would be a whole different world with a lot less people IMHO.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by metamonkey on Tuesday July 29 2014, @02:25PM

        by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @02:25PM (#75043)

        When the NSA spying scandals broke the first thing I thought of was Earth, that yeah, in the book, around this time a war between the masses and the plutocracy broke out over secrecy. Prescient.

        --
        Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by VLM on Monday July 28 2014, @08:51PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 28 2014, @08:51PM (#74769)

      If it weren't for the outward explosion features, I'd think its just another glacial kettle. Where a iceberg cracks off a glacier and gets surrounded on all sides by glacial dirt / runoff and then finally melts out, leaving a mysterious pit in the ground. I live in glacial terrain and have seen quite a few kettles. The story relates its from a permafrost area so glaciers are not unheard of in that area.

    • (Score: 1) by arslan on Monday July 28 2014, @10:15PM

      by arslan (3462) on Monday July 28 2014, @10:15PM (#74797)

      Are we sure it wasn't the silver surfer? OMG Galactus is coming!!

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by bob_super on Monday July 28 2014, @07:48PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday July 28 2014, @07:48PM (#74750)

    So, I need to keep the cat off the control panel of my Giant Moon Laser...

    • (Score: 2) by present_arms on Monday July 28 2014, @09:39PM

      by present_arms (4392) on Monday July 28 2014, @09:39PM (#74789) Homepage Journal

      I think you have been using an old version of apple maps, the NSA is nowhere near there.

      --
      http://trinity.mypclinuxos.com/
    • (Score: 1) by pillo on Wednesday July 30 2014, @08:05AM

      by pillo (93) on Wednesday July 30 2014, @08:05AM (#75416)

      [from TFA]:

      The giant hole in the remote energy-rich Yamalo-Nenetsky region [...]

      Giant Moon Laser? Naaah, don't believe it for a second.
      Given the name, clearly somebody should have kept their cat off of a Battlecruiser's main deck in the past.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by richtopia on Monday July 28 2014, @07:51PM

    by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 28 2014, @07:51PM (#74752) Homepage Journal

    I haven't done much research on this, but one speculation is that the crater is a natural gas explosion. There have also been comparisons to this crater and the lakes that cover the Yamalo-Nenets region (look on google maps, lots of circular lakes).

    Now as far as the end of the world, I suspect this is actually one of the most likely end of the world events we have seen, with some leaps of faith:

    1. This is a methane explosion
    2. This methane explosion is exasperated by global warming - and GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL
    3. Global warming becomes runaway, and all associated end of civilization stuff happens
    4. We live in the world of Mad Max
    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday July 28 2014, @08:09PM

      by edIII (791) on Monday July 28 2014, @08:09PM (#74759)

      We live in the world of Mad Max

      Dibs on the assless chaps and sawed off shotgun...

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday July 28 2014, @08:45PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 28 2014, @08:45PM (#74766)

        Dude, why wait!

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    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday July 28 2014, @08:18PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 28 2014, @08:18PM (#74761) Journal

      Explosion as used in most of the news reports merely meant eruption (escape) without fire.
      That's probably worse for the atmosphere than if it had caught fire.

      Looking at the pictures, there is no burning near the hole.

      Also TFS says someone claimed:
          "you could fly down into it in several Mi-8s (helicopters) without being afraid of hitting anything,"

      Since a Mi-8 has a rotar span of 22 meters, and the hole is only 60 meters in diameter, there would be more than a little intestinal fortitude involved in navigating even ONE chopper down there.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday July 29 2014, @03:01PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @03:01PM (#75076)

        Oh pah, they have over 5 meters of clearance among the choppers and the wall. Grow some balls ;)

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28 2014, @09:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28 2014, @09:04PM (#74778)

      You forgot the most obvious, it is a crater left by an explosion of a Russian guided anti-air missile fired from the Ukrainian border that went astray.

    • (Score: 2) by Nobuddy on Tuesday July 29 2014, @05:49AM

      by Nobuddy (1626) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @05:49AM (#74877)

      You aren't that far off. I was reading an article on this. They perfectly natural, these have happened before. they are kind of excited to see one in progress rather than finding it years afterward.
      However, if it is an indication of accelerated release of methane as Siberia softens, it is a SHIT-TON of methane in that ice. Enough to ramp up global warming by an order of magnitude.

  • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Monday July 28 2014, @07:58PM

    by Blackmoore (57) on Monday July 28 2014, @07:58PM (#74755) Journal

    ..And I feel fine....

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by WizardFusion on Monday July 28 2014, @08:08PM

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 28 2014, @08:08PM (#74758) Journal

    Link to the actual Youtube video, as it was missed in the summary.!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kMs05VaOfE [youtube.com]

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by sl4shd0rk on Monday July 28 2014, @08:22PM

    by sl4shd0rk (613) on Monday July 28 2014, @08:22PM (#74762)

    first thought: goatse crater
    second thoght: dont click any links

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday July 28 2014, @08:47PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 28 2014, @08:47PM (#74767)

      Well, it is going to need a name other than "that big crater in the middle of nowhere" so I propose it be named the goatse crater.

      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday July 29 2014, @02:24AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @02:24AM (#74848) Journal

        Since it was not a firery explosion, we already have a name for the ejecta surrounding the orifice: Santorum! Google it!

        --
        #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
        • (Score: 2) by Jaruzel on Tuesday July 29 2014, @07:22AM

          by Jaruzel (812) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @07:22AM (#74893) Homepage Journal

          Awesome. I'm going to use that word every opportunity I can!

          -Jar

          --
          This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday July 29 2014, @02:17AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @02:17AM (#74846) Journal

    So there's some possibilities:
      * Melted permafrost - check for geological structure signs from things like pressure or scraping
      * Glacier movement or melting - check geological..
      * Gas outlet or explosion - test chemistry
      * Asteroid impact - look for microscopic shock signatures
      * Nukes - check radioactivity

    Until checked, we know that we don't know anything for sure..

    As for the name: No such crater ;)

    • (Score: 1) by DeKO on Tuesday July 29 2014, @03:58PM

      by DeKO (3672) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @03:58PM (#75105)

      Asteroids don't puncture the ground too deeply; they are made of the same stuff as the ground (i.e. rock), they are not resistant enough to bury too deeply. Everything just explodes right there, and you get wide craters.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29 2014, @03:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29 2014, @03:33AM (#74857)

    miniature antimatter-meteor crater created by exotic deep space particles propelled into our solar system by a supernova blast wave or similar forces.. sorry if my occam`s razor is a little rusty ;)

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by nwf on Tuesday July 29 2014, @04:20AM

      by nwf (1469) on Tuesday July 29 2014, @04:20AM (#74861)

      Nah, it's a pussy riot viral video designed to irk Putin.