Huge new craters are spontaneously opening up in the melting permafrost in northern Russia. Though the exact cause is as yet undermined, the sudden appearance of an enormous new crater surrounded by 20 little ones – within six miles of a major gas product plant – has put residents and scientists on high alert.
Professor Bogoyavlensky, deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences said, "It is important not to scare people, but this is a very serious problem. … We must research this phenomenon urgently to prevent possible disasters. We cannot rule out new gas emissions in the Arctic and in some cases they can ignite."