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Russia: Strange history of the Patomskiy crater

Credits: Wikipedia

Located in central Russia, the enormous Patomskiy Crater is still a mystery today, despite the  fact that scientists have tried many times to explain this phenomenon. 

With a diametre of 180 metres and a depth of 40 metres, the Patomskiy Crater is located about 500 km for Baïkal Lake as the crow flies.  This lake is known for being the biggest reserve of fresh water found on the surface of the planet.  The volume of the crater has been evaluated to be between 230, 000 and 250, 000 metres cubed and it is believed to be around 450 years old.

This information has been derived from several organised expeditions, particularly in 2006, 2008 and 2010.  Yet the crater was only discovered in 1949 by the soviet geologist Vladimr Kolpakov and the first aerial photograph was not taken until 1971.  The origin of the Patomskiy Crater still remains unknown today and is in fact a subject of continued debate among the scientific community.

The form of the crater is very particular.  Some researchers believe that it was caused by a volcanic phenomenon but there is no sign of any lava. Other scientists think that this is specific type of volcano that has been caused by a rupture of a deep natural gas pocket. Other researchers believe that it is a cryovolcanism phenomenon (an ancient ice volcano) that dates for the Little Ice Age.

carte geologique cratère Patomsky
Geological map of Patomskiy Crater. ( 1 ) Massive crystalline limestones with quartz–muscovite carbonate veins (ring swell), ( 2 ) Massive fine-grained crystalline limestones with quartz veins (late stage ring swell and central mound), ( 3 ) Notably weathered limestones with rare blocks of metamorphosed sandstones and schists (southern part of the central mound), ( 4 ) Notably weathered limestones with scree of these rocks and blocks of metamorphosed sandstones and schists (early stage ring swell), ( 5 ) Scree of blocks of diverse rocks at the outer slope of the cone, ( 6 ) Proterozoic Mariinsk Formation limestones hosting Patom Crater, ( 7 ) Sandstone layer in limestone batch, ( 8 ) Metamorphosed sandstones, ( 9 ) Ring and radial fault zones in Patom Crater , ( 10 ) Strike and dip of rocks. 
Credits: Researchgate / A. M. Fedorov

There are other theories such as it could be caused by an ultra-dense meteorite that has sunk under the earth after hitting the ground.  Or others believe it could be caused by part of the Tungouska meteor that hit Siberia in 1908.  What is certain is that the Patomskiy crater has such a special form that there are no equivalents in the world other than on the moon!

Another umpteenth hypothesis comes this time from UFO amateurs who believe in unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrials.  According to them, this crater proves that there is an extraterrestrial object situated 100 metres below the surface of the Earth.

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