Midnight In The Desert — Siberia

7,000 huge gas bubbles have formed under Siberia, and could explode at any moment

7,000 huge gas bubbles have formed under Siberia, and could explode at any moment

Last year, researchers in Siberia's remote Bely Island made the bizarre discovery that the ground had started bubbling in certain places, and was squishy under the locals' feet like jelly. At the time, just 15 of these swollen bubbles had been identified, but an investigation in the wider region of the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas has revealed that 7,000 or so of them have cropped up, and the concern now is that they could explode at any moment. "At first, such a bump is a bubble, or 'bulgunyakh' in the local Yakut language," Alexey Titovsky, director of the Yamal Department...


Siberia's 'doorway to the underworld' is getting so big it's uncovering ancient forests

Siberia's 'doorway to the underworld' is getting so big it's uncovering ancient forests

It's no secret that Siberia's permafrost has been on thin ice lately. Conditions are varying so much that huge holes are appearing out of nowhere, and, in some places, tundra is quite literally bubbling underneath people's feet. But new research has revealed that one of the biggest craters in the region, known by the local Yakutian people as the 'doorway to the underworld', is growing so rapidly that it's uncovering long-buried forests, carcasses, and up to 200,000 years of historical climate records. Known as the Batagaika crater, it's what's officially called a 'megaslump' or 'thermokarst'. Many of these megaslumps have...


Trembling tundra - the latest weird phenomenon in Siberia's land of craters

Trembling tundra - the latest weird phenomenon in Siberia's land of craters

This extraordinary sight - in a video filmed of the tundra on remote Belyy Island in the Kara Sea off the Yamal Peninsula coastline - was witnessed by a scientific research expedition. Researchers Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich spotted 15 patches of trembling or bubbling grass-covered ground. When punctured they emitted methane and carbon dioxide, according to measurements, although so far no details have been given. The reason is as yet unclear, but one possible explanation of the phenomenon is abnormal heat that caused permafrost to thaw, releasing gases. Alexander Sokolov said that this summer is unusually hot on the...