Siberian crater, Siberian crater from inside, Siberian Times, gas explosions, Vladimir Pushkarev, Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, mysterious hole, Russia, Yamal crater

Located in Russia’s Yamal Peninsula, the enormous craters appeared seemingly out of nowhere back in July. But last week, scientists managed to reach the base of one of them using climbing equipment and brought back data and a set of amazing pictures. Before they could make the descent, they had to wait a few months until the lake at the bottom had frozen. During summer the crater’s floor is like a mud bath with water pouring down from the ground above.

Related: Mysterious Giant Hole in Siberia Could be Caused by Climate Change

The leader of the mission and director of the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, Vladimir Pushkarev, told The Siberian Times: “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.”

Siberian crater, Siberian crater from inside, Siberian Times, gas explosions, Vladimir Pushkarev, Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, mysterious hole, Russia, Yamal crater

However, some researchers already believe that underground gas explosions caused the craters, as the temperature beneath the hole was “higher than normal.” The explosions might have been caused by unusually warm climatic conditions and the fact the bigger hole is right on the intersection of two tectonic faults — although the region is generally stable in a seismological sense.

Another theory is that the holes aren’t new at all but that no one had ever noticed them until now, so investigations are also being made into satellites photos from the 1980s. Stay tuned!

Via Siberian Times

Photos by Vladimir Pushkarev / Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration