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Giant Hole in Siberia Appears out of Nowhere

July 21, 2014; 1:34 PM ET

A massive 66-yard-wide crater in the ground has been discovered in northern Siberia, according to Associated Press.

There are several theories as to how the giant hole formed, including an underground explosion from the natural gas reserves in the region, melting of ice under the surface of the ground and a buildup of pressure underground that forced the hole to form.

This frame grab made Wednesday, July 16, 2014, shows a crater, discovered recently in the Yamal Peninsula, in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia. Russian scientists said Thursday, July 17, 2014, that they believe the 60-meter-wide crater, discovered recently in far northern Siberia, could be the result of changing temperatures in the region. (AP Photo/Associated Press Television)

Andrei Plekhanov, a senior researcher at the Scientific Research Center of the Arctic told the Associated Press that he believed the crater was caused by a build-up of excessive pressure that occurred underground due to rising temperatures in the region.

Plekhanov also stated after traveling to the crater that 80 percent of the crater appeared to be made up of ice and that there was no evidence of an explosion, ruling out that a meteorite caused the hole.

Dr. Chris Fogwill, a polar scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, reported to the Huffington Post that the hole may be what is left of a pingo. A pingo is an Earth-covered area of ice in the arctic. If a large enough pingo were to melt, it could possibly create such a hole.

Research is ongoing into an explanation for the giant hole in such an isolated part of Siberia.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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About This Blog

International Weather
The AccuWeather.com International Weather Blog, written by Eric Leister, covers weather stories from around the world, with a focus on threatening weather events, and also interesting weather phenomenon.