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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: 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.

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  • (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 []. 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.

    • (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.