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Posted: July 17, 2014

Scientists investigating mysterious giant hole in Siberia

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Scientists have now launched an investigation into a giant crater that suddenly appeared in a remote part of Siberia.

"That hole is 260 feet wide, and nobody knows exactly how deep that thing is. It just goes down and down and down, and it's a dark hole." (Via Fox News)

"It's still a mystery as to what caused it." (Via MSNBC)

"Russian scientists will arrive today to try to determine what caused the hole." (Via The Weather Channel)

Even stranger — the area of Russia where this crater is said to have formed is ominously called "the end of earth." (Via YouTube / Bulka)

This new footage from a local television station shows the expedition team and the first close-up look inside the crater. Russian scientists, along with members of the country's Emergencies Ministry, gathered soil and water samples for testing. (Via Ямал Регион)

But while we wait for the team to finish its investigation, speculation about what may have caused the hole is all over the Web. 

Perhaps the most popular and believable Internet theory is that a large meteor — similar to the one that flattened a Siberian forest in 1908 — struck the remote area. (Via CBS)

This idea certainly isn't that far-fetched given recent large meteor strikes in Russia and the physical nature of the newly discovered hole. (Via BBC)

But according to RT, a spokesperson from the Emergencies Ministry ruled out that theory but didn't explain why. 

As to be expected, when unexplainable things appear on our planet's surface, people jump to the conclusion that a UFO landed, crashed, drilled or exploded out of the earth. 

But the Siberian Times explains, "Experts are confident that a scientific explanation will be found for it and that it is not ... evidence 'of the arrival of a UFO craft' to the planet."

Even scientists can't agree on a single probable reason for this massive crater. 

One Australian scientist told The Sydney Morning Herald it's a "pingo." It's a geological phenomenon caused when "a block of ice [grows] into a small hill in the frozen arctic ground. The ice can eventually push through the earth and when it melts away it leaves an exposed crater." 

But a Russian researcher in Siberia tells NBC the region is "rich in natural gas, and a pocket of this combined with water and salt could have produced quite a large explosion if the permafrost were punctured by climate-change-induced thaw."

It's possible scientists may never figure out what caused the hole. 

This crater found in Siberia more than 60 years ago is still puzzling researchers, who have not been able to give a definitive statement on its origin. (Via NTV Russia)

Although the latest crater was discovered just recently, researchers say the permafrost surrounding it indicates it could be several years old. 

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