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If you're traveling to the northern reaches of Siberia, you should probably watch your step: The place appears to be positively perforated with massive, unexplained-as-yet craters. The third such giant hole to be discovered in as many weeks is located some distance to the east of the first two, on a neighboring peninsula known as Taymyr. Unlike the first hole, which may be as wide as 100 feet, the third is only of a modest size — perhaps 10 to 15 feet wide. But the small opening hides a shaft reported to be hundreds of feet deep. The Siberian Times reports that local herders found it by nearly stepping in it, then took pictures to share with scientists in the region.

Although we are only hearing about them now, these holes aren't exactly new, and they may not even be rare — just not well documented. The first is estimated to have formed within the last two years, and the second is even dated: locals remember smoke and a flash occurring last year on Sept. 27 — consistent with the leading theory that the holes are caused by natural gas deposits bursting. The third hole's origins, however, may be different; further study is planned.



— Devin Coldewey, NBC News