A giant hole at “world's end” is stunning scientists as it remains a mystery how the tremendous hole in Yamal in Siberia was created. The word “Yamal” means “world’s end” or “the end of the world” in the native Nenets language. Yamal is located in one of Russia's coldest and most isolated northernmost regions. The mysterious giant hole was spotted by a helicopter crew working for a Russian oil company, reports The Siberian Times on July 15.
The Yamal Peninsula is known for its extremely cold climate, its reindeer herds, its migratory birds, the ancient wooly mammoths that have been found in the territory, and for holding the world’s biggest natural gas reserves. Despite Russia’s 75-year rule, the people of the Yamal Peninsula have maintained their traditional way of life. “They still travel by sled and reindeer; live in teepees or as the Russian call them ‘chum’, or in Nenets ‘mya’; live off the land; and still worship their own deities. Now the “end of the world” is becoming famous for a gigantic hole of unknown origin.
The hole in Yamal is estimated to be about 262 feet (80 meters) wide. Its depth is still unknown. The hole opened up close to a forest about 19 miles (30 kilometers) from Yamal's biggest gas field Bovanenkovo. The aerial footage of the hole taken from the helicopter shows a dark color around the inner rim of the hole. “The darkening around the inner rim indicates its formation was accompanied by severe burning scorching the edges.”
According to The Siberian Times, a scientific team has been sent into the region in order to solve the mystery as to why and how the hole suddenly appeared. The team of scientists is expected to arrive at the location of the mysterious hole this week. “The expedition organised by the Yamal authorities includes two experts from the Centre for the Study of the Arctic and one from Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. They plan to take samples of soil, air and water from the scene. They will be accompanied by a specialist from the Emergencies Ministry.”
Theories as to how the giant hole at “world’s end” was created are in abundance. Some say that the scoring of the edges indicates that a UFO landed at the site. Some argue that a meteorite fell onto earth in Yamal. However, Anna Kurchatova from the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre believes that the hole is a result of global warming and that it was formed after water, salt, and gas mixture ignited an underground explosion. “Global warming, causing an 'alarming' melt in the permafrost, released gas causing an effect like the popping of a Champagne bottle cork,” Kurchatova argues.