Climate change in Siberia has potentially unveiled one of the great scientific findings of 2017. According to a study recently published in the Quaternary Research journal, the Batagaika crater in Russia, which is known for producing many ominous sounds due to massive thawing, may contain up to 200,000 years worth climate data.
Dubbed the “Hellmouth” or the “Doorway to the Underworld” by the local Yakut people, the Batagaika crater is nearly 300 feet deep and is currently expanding between 30 and 100 feet each year. Thanks to the thawing of local permafrost, the crater is divulging a wealth of ecological data.
Scientists studying the crater have found remains of wood, two full forest beds, and a lower level that contains a large percentage of pollen. Such geological information is leading researchers to conclude that this area of Siberia may have once been a vast tundra.
Despite the amazing find, the quick thawing of the permafrost has led to some hazards. Namely, as the ice melts, it turns first to slush, then to methane gas. Still, researchers are excited to further explore this crater, which has already given up the remains of an ancient musk ox, a mammoth, and a 4,400-year-old horse.
Featured image via: Daily Mail