Will Siberia one day be a place that parents describe to their children in bedtime stories about the poor shivering Siberians who got sucked down mysterious holes that opened all across their frozen land? It’s not that far from the truth as Russian scientists studying the massive craters that have already formed in northern Siberia are predicting new ones and warning they will be even wider and deeper with no signs of stopping.


While the mysterious Siberian craters have been attributed by various experts and fearful Siberians to anything from meteorites to missiles to giant worms to UFOs or underground aliens, the most scientific cause seems to be explosions triggered by the release of methane gas trapped under giant frozen plugs of earth called pingos that are melting due to climate change. That’s what a recent expedition team from the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics says they’ve confirmed along with the discovery of larger and more dangerous pingos.

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Before and after satellite images of a pingo which became the Siberian crater known as B2.

“Pingos” sounds like a party snack but the only thing they have in common with junk food is bad gas. Pre-explosion pingos can reach up to 230 feet high and 2,000 feet in diameter before erupting to form ground-swallowing craters like the famous B1 on the Yamal Peninsula that is over 200 feet deep. Senior researcher Dr. Vladimir Olenchenko says the expedition found a pingo bigger than this that may erupt at any moment. The secret location will be monitored via satellite.

Dr. Igor Yeltsov, deputy director of the institute, has compared the end result of exploding pingos to the theory that methane blasts from the ocean floor are what knock down and swallow planes and ships in the Bermuda Triangle. What’s worse, the Siberian pingos and their craters are near major methane fields that are near major cities which makes them a catastrophic and possibly apocalyptic chain reaction waiting to happen.

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Will this be the end of Siberia?

Will Siberia end up looking like a snow-covered lunar landscape or a frozen black hole between Russia and the Arctic Ocean? Only time will tell.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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