Interesting Facts

What Caused The Mysterious Patomskiy Crater in Siberia?

Discovered in 1949, the Patomskiy Crater resembles a huge convex cone with a funnel-shaped recess and a rounded hill in the middle, which looks like an eagle’s nest with an egg nestled inside it. The crater’s origin is a mystery that has baffled scientists for decades.

A geologist named Vadim Kolpakov discovered a strange feature on the earth’s surface in the Bodaibo, Irkutsk region of South-Eastern Siberia in the summer of 1949. This anomaly is oval, surrounded by trees, and has a conical crater in the center with a small ball-like mound. The entire structure is made of shattered grey limestone. It has a width of 130-160 meters and a height of up to 80 meters. Surprisingly, few trees grow on the formation; however, the surrounding conifers have grown rapidly. The geologic mystery, known as the Patomskiy Crater, the Kolpakov Cone, and the Fire Eagle Nest, has perplexed scientists who are unsure what caused this unusual formation.

Mysterious Patomskiy Crater 1
An aerial view of the Patomskiy crater. CC4.0 Dmitry Semenov.

Far Out Theories on the Patomskiy Crater

I don’t know if it is a meteorite or a spaceship, but there is definitely something under the crater.

The Patomskiy crater, named after the nearby river, has given rise to a plethora of intriguing theories. There were wild theories that it was a covert uranium mine from Stalin’s era that employed Gulag laborers. It was the landing site of an alien UFO, according to theories put forth by ancient astronauts. Other widely accepted theories include the Tunguska Event, a cylindrical metallic object of unknown origin, a dust-sized meteorite that burrowed through the planet and left the crater as an exit wound, and an underground uranium or natural gas explosion.

It might seem unlikely that uranium exists. But it’s well known that there are a lot of naturally occurring radioactive elements in this region. An explosion could occur under certain conditions, but it is possible. A precise set of events would have to occur. The trees, however, do not show signs of significant uranium explosions or the Tunguska disaster, which would have destroyed the conifers.

The most possible theory, by far, is that the peculiar shape of the Patomskiy crater was caused by an extraterrestrial or alien body that had lodged there a long time ago. An object from space would leave far higher radioactive levels than the average levels on Earth, which seems to contradict the unremarkable radiation levels. Of course, one could argue that since the spacecraft landed so long ago, the high levels have already returned to nominal. The enlargement of the surrounding vegetation lends credence to this.

Mysterious Patomskiy Crater 2
This chipmunk feasting inside the crater seems healthy. CC3.0 Credit: Dmitry Demezhko.

Science at the Crater

Initially, the two most probable theories proposed that the origin is either volcanic or meteoric. The issue is that there is currently no proof of either scenario discovered by scientists on the Siberian crater’s slopes. Nowhere is there meteor debris or volcanic rock. Even so, the location reminded scientists of the lunar impact marks left by meteor strikes, and they surmised that more evidence might be found farther down in the earth, closer to the meteor’s explosion. Most scientists have given up on the meteor hypothesis because, at this point, the bulk of the evidence has ruled it out.

Local Legend of Bad JuJu at the Crater

The Yakut are an indigenous people living in the remote Irkutsk region. These individuals insist that big animals stay out of the crater because they view it as a dangerous location. According to one explanation of this superstition, it’s possible that their ancestors lived in the region when radiation levels were much higher. It’s possible that this radiation caused these ancestors’ illnesses and deaths. The legend was combined over time to create oral tribal tales that were ingrained in Yakut culture. In fact, the crater’s shape led the Yakut to name it Fire Eagle’s Nest.

Mysterious Patomskiy Crater 3
Yakuts named the crater Fire Eagle’s Nest and believe the area holds bad energy. Source: dvoris.

Investigations of the Fire Eagle Nest

Despite being found in 1949, the Patomskiy crater was not thoroughly investigated until 2005, when the first scientific expedition set out to do so. This delay was caused by several factors, whereas in many other nations, a phenomenon of this size would have drawn attention from scientists. Prioritizing military development was the focus of scientific spending until the fall of the Soviet Union. As a result, the crater’s study was delayed.

Evgeny Vorobyov, the lead researcher, died while hiking shortly after they set out for their target in 2005, which was a major setback for the initial expedition. An autopsy revealed a massive heart attack when authorities recovered his body (Zubacheva 2013). Nevertheless, the group continued regardless of the negative sign. Despite extensive scientific research, the field only opened up new opportunities. They were unable to determine its cause definitively at that point. Surprisingly enough, though, a number of anomalies were found nearby.

Mysterious Patomskiy Crater 4
The site of the Patomskiy crater showing broken limestones and few trees. CC3.0 Dmitry Demezhko

Strange Surroundings

The Russian government was initially worried that this could be the location of a nuclear test by another country because it was around the start of the Cold War. It was after all, only three years earlier that the Americans had used nuclear weapons against Japan, and it was well known that the Russians were trying to develop the same technology.

As a result, elevated radiation levels were among the first things officials looked for at the site. The outcomes, though, were not noteworthy. The amount, while marginally higher than nominal, did not suggest a nuclear explosion.

What is puzzling, though, is that for more than a century prior to its discovery, the surrounding vegetation saw a significant increase in size. Although it may sound harmless, nuclear contact frequently results in this anomaly. Radiation’s mutagenic effects have an impact on flora, frequently leading to a gradual but significant increase in its size. This also applied to the surrounding vegetation of Chernobyl. There are also magnetic anomalies on the strange Patomskiy crater and in the area around it. Of course, there are additional reasons for growth spurts in trees.

Recent Revelations About the Patomskiy Crater

According to contemporary geomorphologists, the Fire Eagle’s Nest might be an extremely uncommon gas volcano that vents enormous underground gas reserves. The peculiar rock formations might also be a sign of chemical reactions between elements leaking through from deep within the earth and those on the surface.

According to Dmitry Demezhko of the Institute of Geophysics in Yekaterinburg, the crater formed in two stages. First, a channel resembling mud volcanism was formed in the region by tectonic activity. The rock eventually started to fracture as a result of constant freezing and thawing.

A 2015 paper by V.S. published one of the most recent studies. B.G. Pokrovsky, Antipin, and A.M. According to Fedorov, the formation happened as a result of one or more steam explosions that happened when magma rose through the rock and water or when fissures released pressurized water that was trapped in the rock.

Experts are gradually approaching a definitive solution to this perplexing mystery, if they haven’t already. It seems that all scientists agree that the Patomskiy crater is unique to our planet and cannot be found anywhere else.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x