Tornadoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes are a few of the more well-known examples of Mother Nature’s mighty wrath. It’s incredible—and humbling—to think that nature can be so brutal at times.
Still even those terrifying natural disasters are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what nature is capable of. There are plenty of natural weather patterns that can really wreak havoc on communities.
Shepherds working in a field in Russia learned this firsthand when they heard a tremendous rumbling sound in the night. When they ventured out the next day to investigate, they found something utterly unreal…
When people think of natural disasters, they typically imagine earthquakes in California and Japan or massive tornadoes ripping through small Midwestern towns. They are devastating and leave nothing in their wake when they occur.
Of course, many other forms actually do exist… such as what strangely appeared on the the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia in 2014. It was so unlike anything that anyone in the neighborhood had ever seen that they didn’t even know how to react.
People who lived in the village reported having heard extremely loud rumblings in the middle of the night. At first, they didn’t think much of it—but many decided to venture out the next day to see what had happened.
Some of the other farmers in the area described hearing only a single massive boom, like a clap of thunder. Though they initially wrote the noise off when it ceased to continue, they were in for quite a surprise the following morning…
There, right in front of them, was a massive crater in the ground. Residents of the village were completely baffled by the strange occurrence. It had happened so suddenly and without warning, and no one seemed to have any sort of guess as to what might have caused the noise and the crater.
While locals were busy searching for an explanation as to what could’ve caused the crater, others began formulating their own conspiracy theories. What could possibly have caused such a massive crater to exist so suddenly?
Some people in the area imagined that it was the work of aliens which caused the crater to suddenly appear in their neighborhood. While it was certainly entertaining to think about at first, this theory didn’t hold much weight.
Several years passed and still no one could seem to figure out what had caused the booming sound and the giant crater to appear. Now, after performing in-depth research, geologists have finally cracked the case wide open.
As it turned out, nothing had crashed from outer space and into the land, which put the alien conspiracy theory to rest. (Thank goodness!)
What actually caused the crater to form was even scarier than everyone had originally anticipated. It turned out that it was the eruption of a pingo, which is a large embankment of ice covered by grass. And it was a very rare occurrence.
A pingo is a core of ice directly under the surface of a plot of land, and they can only form within a permafrost environment. They are able to erupt when the pressure of methane gas builds up due to rising temperatures… such as those caused by global warming.
Though pingos are rare in most parts of the world, sadly, they do occur. And when that happens, the results can be devastating to the surrounding area. Just take a look at how huge this massive crater actually was when it happened!
This is because half of the ice core of a pingo is filled with gas, and as the core thaws, pressure begins to build until a dramatic eruption occurs. This experience is relatively unknown to people who don’t actually live in a region of the world that contains permafrost.
Most pingos end up forming in sizable frozen river channels and lakes. Increased pressure from within reaches a new maximum, which in turn, causes the frozen water to rise. That’s when an ice core forms; it can stay that way for long periods of time in cold climates like Siberia.
While an erupted pingo is typically filled with water, this particular one in Yamal was completely empty. This rare occurrence allowed for the geologists to have a chance to perform in-depth research to learn more about this phenomenon.
As fascinating as pingos are to learn about, you can never truly get the full experience unless you are able to see one up close. Luckily, someone filmed a video that gives you such a chance. Just look at how massive that crater really is!
Exploding underground ice? That’s just nuts. Imagine if something like this happened in your backyard! If we don’t stop global warming soon, unfortunately, it just might.
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