SOURCE: The Siberian Times

DATE: August 29, 2020

SNIP: The recently-formed new hole or funnel is the latest to be seen in northern Siberia since the phenomenon was first registered in 2014.

It was initially spotted by chance from the air by a Vesti Yamal TV crew en route from an unrelated assignment.

A group of scientists then made an expedition to examine the large cylindrical crater which has a depth of up to 50 metres.

Such funnels are believed to be caused by the build up of methane gas in pockets of thawing permafrost under the surface.

Scientist Dr Evgeny Chuvilin, a leading researcher at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, said: ‘What we saw today is striking in its size and grandeur.

‘These are the colossal forces of nature that create such objects.’

The ‘crater’ – these holes are called hydrolaccoliths or bulgunnyakhs by scientists – is given the number 17, and is seen as the most impressive of the large holes to suddenly appear in recent years as the permafrost thaws.