– Batagaika crater is known as the “Gateway to the Underworld” by local people who fear to go near the massive crater.
The giant crater is expanding at an alarming rate and is now so large that researchers have discovered remnants of an ancient forest and remains of long extinct animals preserved in the permafrost. Many of the ice deposits that are now being exposed formed during the last Ice Age.
The massive crater that first appeared about 25 years ago in the frozen heart of Siberia can unlock the secrets of our planet’s past and can give us vital clues about the future.
The Batagaika crater, also known as known as the Batagaika Megaslump is about a kilometer long and 90m deep. Major flooding in 2008 increased the size of the depression.
The crater helps scientists to interpret the climate and environmental history, and study environmental changes that happened in the past.
However, Batagaika crater is getting bigger and bigger and that is very serious.
According to Frank Günther of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany who has monitored the site for the last decade, using satellite images to measure the rate of change, the crater has grown by an average of 33ft (10m) per year. In warmer years, the changes have been even greater, sometimes up to 98ft (30m) per year.
This means that new land may even start to appear, as thawed ice exposes buried land some 33-66ft (10-20m) below the original surface.
Scientists have already found ancient forests and frozen remains of a musk ox, mammoth, and a 4,400-year-old horse inside the crater and there is much more down there.
Th good news is that the layers exposed by the crater could now reveal 200,000 years of climate data. The bad news is that researchers say that melting permafrost could speed up climate change.
Scientists also say that there is no indication that the erosion of this crater will slow down any time soon.
There are also reports of bizarre and scary moving bubbles that have suddenly appeared in Siberia.