More craters are being located in remote areas of Siberia, and some of them are massive. Russian scientists have now discovered seven of these craters, and believe that there are many more in the region. More worrying, like the unidentifiable explosive sounds and tremors that are being reported in the United States, their cause is unknown. The two phenomena may or may not be related. In the case of the Siberian craters, suspicion is falling on underground methane concentrations, which are being freed from frozen tundra, concentrating in pockets which are compressed by the weight of the soil above them until there is an explosive reaction. The sounds in the United States are not under any publicly known study, and there isn’t even any scientific speculation about their origin.

A huge crater a half mile wide has just been discovered in the region of Yakutia by scientists working for the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Scientists are still trying to estimate what danger, if any, is posed by the craters. Methane is very flammable, and methane in the atmosphere being ignited by lightning is believed to have been responsible for widespread forest fires across the northern hemisphere at the end of the last ice age. At one point, four-fifths of the North American continent caught fire, leaving a geologic formation known as the black mat, which is made up of ash and the skeletons of algae that appeared after the fire, when the continent was flooded by the rapid melting of the Laurentian Glacier. Whether the black mat was caused by fires ignited by an impact or by atmospheric methane ignition or both remains a matter of scientific controversy.

Read Unknowncountry’s previous stories about the danger of methane releasing into the atmosphere. Click here.