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Scientists baffled over two new craters discovered in Siberia

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 6:41 PM - Earlier this month, a mysterious crater 79 metres wide and 70 metres deep was found in northern Siberia, and scientists have yet to determine the cause.

Now, two more hole have been discovered -- one 15 metres and the other 30 metres in diameter.

The craters are a few hundred kilometres away from one another and are surrounded by piles of dirt, indicating an explosion or excavation had taken place.

There are a few theories circulating about what caused the mysterious holes.

Some think they may be the result of meteorites while others suspect the holes are the result of natural gas explosions, given their proximity to a natural gas field. 

RELATED: 'Explosive' earthquakes may have caused large sinkhole

"According to local residents, the [15 metre] hole formed on 27 September 2013," Mikhail Lapsui, a deputy of the regional parliament, told the Siberian Times.

"Observers give several versions. According to the first, initially at the place was smoking, and then there was a bright flash. In the second version, a celestial body fell there."

A camera that was sent down the first crater revealed the presence of an ice-covered lake. Authorities aren't sure if the waterway played a role in the formation of the crater, but scientists with the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of the Earth Cryosphere believe the hole may have formed formed when melting permafrost triggered a methane gas explosion.


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