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The Siberian Times has a long article, First pictures from inside the 'crater at the end of the world', on the recently discovered crater in the Siberian Yamal Peninsula that was previously reported on in FishOutofWater’s diary Mysterious Siberian Crater Found at "End of the World" May Portend Methane Climate Catastrophe and Man Oh Man’s Overnight News Digest from Wednesday night.  At this point not much new information is available, though we do have much better information on the size of the hole.

The first expedition to the scene - the scientists have just returned - took these epic pictures of the hole, including the darkening pattern on the inner rim.

[...]

Andrey Plekhanov, Senior Researcher at the State Scientific Centre of Arctic Research, said: 'The crater has more of an oval than a circular shape, it makes it harder to calculate the exact diameter. As of now our estimates is about thirty metres.

'If we try to measure diameter together with soil emission, the so-called parapet, then the diameter is up to sixty meters.

'The crater is from 50 to 70 metres deep'.

It definitely appears that the hole was formed by internal forces, but not ones that released heat. One possibility is that it represents the first stage of a process that formed numerous lakes in the Yamal permafrost.  The scientists are considering how best to study the phenomenon and are using satellite pictures to try to determine when it first appeared — almost certainly within the last couple of years.

The article includes a large number of pictures and a 2:48 video; the first half of the video gives a wobbly but informative aerial view of the hole and the surrounding region, and the second half gives a close-up of the hole, showing water melting on its sides and dripping to the bottom.

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