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Funnel Shaped Crater in Northern Russia

Craters like this one are appearing between aerial surveys or have been reported by reindeer herders in the Yamal Peninsula (poking into the Arctic Ocean in north central Russia). Russian scientists have identified seven craters like this so far--some as much as 100 m (330') across. At least one of the craters has a ring of smaller craters around it. Scientists have visited several of the funnels and even gone down inside them. The current theory is that the craters are caused by the permafrost thawing underground, releasing methane, and eventually exploding (climate change, anyone?). Scientists think there may be more that have not yet been discovered.