Holes like this one have been appearing in Siberia — at least three are known so far. There are a couple of theories for what's causing them and both are linked to climate change.
First, there's the idea that the holes are created when mounds of ice, covered with earth, melt. Called pingos, the loss of the ice would leave behind a big hole that collapses in on itself. Given the rising temperatures and melting of permafrost in Siberia, it wouldn't be surprising to find that pingos are melting. But, other scientists argue, these holes don't really fit the look of a pingo collapse.
But [geophysicist Vladimir] Romanovsky said the hole doesn't look like a typical collapsed pingo; such features usually form from larger mounds that slowly cave in over a period of decades, with all the material falling inside.
From the photo of the Yamal crater, "it's obvious that some material was ejected from the hole," Romanovsky said. His Russian colleagues who visited the site told him the dirt was piled more than 3 feet (1 m) high around the hole's edges.
Which brings us to the other, fairly awesome, possible explanation. Some observers have noted the presence of smoke and flashes of light in the places where the holes appeared. There's also been some weirdness in the atmospheric science world with spikes of methane turning up in air over Siberia.
That's leading some scientists to speculate that the holes could be forming when methane from melted permafrost builds up in a space left by a melting pingo — eventually leading to an explosion.
“We Are NASA” thrills me more than any science fiction movie trailer, and it’s real.
OK, it’s not quite Dr. Crusher’s dermal regenerator (seen above), but Arizona State University researchers have demonstrated a laser system for sealing wounds. The system involves a sealing paste — made from silk protein mixed with gold nanorods — that bonds with skin when heated with a laser. From IEEE Spectrum: To use a laser […]
There’s scientific truth to the saying that you never forget how to ride a bike. Even if you can’t remember phone numbers, birthdays, or where the hell you parked your car, it’s likely that even if you haven’t been on a bicycle in decades, you can climb on and ride away just fine. Why? Neuropsychologist […]
Anyone can learn piano, but don’t tell that to the bored kids who had to endure hours of “Chopsticks” and similar drills in their music lessons. Today, there’s a better way. Pianoforall lets you jump right in to discover what makes music fun, leaving you eager to learn more. In a simple but innovative approach, […]
There are two times you never want to just “eyeball” it: Conducting brain surgery and matching shades of paint for your walls. Whether you’re painting or repainting, make sure you’re never just “close enough” to the color you want. Not when the Nix Mini Color Sensor can scan and match any color perfectly. Small enough […]
In photography as in film, all the real artistry is in post-production – increasingly so, with the new possibilities cropping up in digital imaging. If you’re ready to get serious about your photography, may we suggest HDR Projects 2018 Pro. As working photographers can tell you, this imaging software can help you re-imagine even the […]