This is Siberia's 'doorway to the underworld' and its growing

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Monday 06 March 2017 16:45
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Picture:(Alexander Gabyshev/Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North)

Melting permafrost has revealed freakish holes in the Siberia earth. The resemblance these holes have to hell's mouth doesn't help assuage human suspicions of the coming apocalypse.

The Batagaika crater in Siberia, known as the 'doorway to the underworld', is almost 1 km long and 86 metres deep.

It's also growing, fast!

Research by Frank Günther of the Alfred Wegener Institute has shown that the crater has grown by an average of 10 metres per year over the last decade.

The holes are caused by the melting of permafrost, and the craters or 'megaslumps' left behind reveal long buried forests, animal remains, and hundreds of thousands of years worth of climate records.

Scientist Julian Murton told Motherboard in 2016 what they layers tell us about the climate.

The Batagaika site contains a remarkably thick sequence of permafrost deposits, which include two wood-rich layers interpreted as forest beds that indicate past climates about as warm or warmer than today's climate

Doorway to the Underworld

The nickname 'doorway to underworld' comes from the local Yakutian people.

Yet for scientists it's a doorway to 200,000 years ago at least, revealing how climate change since the last ice age has shaped the region.

In addition, Günther told BBC News of his fears regarding carbon which the crater may be exposing.

Global estimations of carbon stored in permafrost is [the] same amount as what's in the atmosphere.

The gas in the atmosphere, will increase the warming climate that has melted the permafrost.

This in turn will deepen the crater, releasing more trapped carbon into the atmosphere.

You get the idea.

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