In July this year, scientists discovered a mysterious giant sinkhole in northern Siberia's Yamal Peninsula. Scientists have now reached the base of the crater to understand the scientific reason behind the unexplained phenomenon.
With the help of climbing equipment, scientists have reached to the base of the crater, which is about 10.5 meters deep and has a frozen surface.
"We managed to go down into the funnel, all was successful," says Vladimir Pushkarev, director of the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration and the leader of the mission. "We took all the probes we planned, and made measurements. Now scientists need time to process all the data and only then can they draw conclusions."
Pushkarev also revealed that it is easier to reach the base of the sinkhole in the winter when it is frozen than during summer. Previously, the accessible parts of the crater were about 16.5 meters deep.
The Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration and a number of scientists and experts from various institutes are examining the sinkhole. The team has already performed radiolocation tests at a depth of 200 meters. The team is also taking samples of ice, ground, air and gases found in the crater. All the collected samples have been sent to several laboratories for examination and now scientists will be processing information about the gathered samples.
Scientists are also expected to explore surrounding regions of the crater and compare recent as well as old images of the region taken in 1980's from the space in a bid to understand if there were or are similar objects. Scientists also suggest that it is likely that such phenomenon may have occurred in the past, but may have gone unnoticed.
When the crater was first discovered along with two other sinkholes many experts pointed to different theories such as a man-made hoax, a work of aliens, stray missile impact and more. Some experts believe that gas hydrates caused underground explosions causing the sinkhole. Experts relate the gas hydrates to be similar to the ones observed around the mysterious Bermuda Triangle in the Atlantic Ocean, which can be the center of many unexplained events.
It has been a few months since the crater was discovered in Siberia but scientists are still baffled about the cause of such a giant crater. The research team revealed that they did not find or see anything unusual at the bottom crater and they have to wait until lab results of the samples are revealed.