A GIANT 165ft deep crater has appeared in the Russian Arctic – amid bizarre claims of UFOs and top secret missile tests.

The cavernous hole was discovered after a massive explosion in the Tundra following a freakishly hot summer.

A giant 165ft deep crater has appeared in the Russian Arctic
The giant new hole was discovered by a TV crew flying overhead

It is believed the monster blast was sparked by “a methane gas buildup in the thawing permafrost.”

The giant hole is the 17th large crater to appear in the region over the past six years.

Previous mega-holes have sparked oddball conspiracy theories about everything from UFO launch sites to Kremlin nuke tests.

Blocks of soil and ice were thrown “hundreds of metres” from the epicentre by a “colossal force” caused by the blast, say scientists.

It’s thought gas was released in soil which has been frozen for thousands of years but is now starting to defrost.

Mariya Zulinova

Previous holes sparked bizarre theories about UFOs and missile tests[/caption]

Yamal Governor press-service

The giant hole is the 17th large crater to appear over the past six years.[/caption]

Vasily Bogoyavlensky

The mystery mega-holes first appeared around six years ago[/caption]

The new hole was spotted by chance from the air by a Vesti Yamal TV crew heading to an unrelated assignment.

A group of scientists then made an expedition to examine the large cylindrical crater estimated to be at least 165 ft deep.

Scientist Dr Evgeny Chuvilin, a leading researcher at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, said it was “striking in its size and grandeur”.

The crater came about from “colossal forces of nature”, he said.

Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky, of the Russian Oil and Gas Research Institute in Moscow, told the TV station the hole was unusual.

“It holds a lot of additional scientific information, which I am not yet ready to disclose,” he said.

Vesti Yamal

Scientist Dr Evgeny Chuvilin said the crater was the result of a ‘colossal forces of nature’[/caption]

Vladimir Pushkarev

Russian scientists call the holes hydrolaccoliths or bulgunnyakhs[/caption]

These craters appear because “gas-saturated cavities are formed in the permafrost,” he said.

Some, but not all the explosions, have occurred in swelling pingos – or mounds – in the tundra when the gas builds up under a thick cap of ice.

Bogoyavlensky has previously claimed that drilling for natural gas in Yamal – a key supplier for Europe – may be a factor in the eruptions.

He is also concerned at the risk of ecological disasters if the explosions occur under gas pipelines, production facilities or residential areas.

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“In a number of areas, pingos – as we see both from satellite data and with our own eyes during helicopter inspections – literally prop up gas pipes,” he said previously.

“In some places they jack up the gas pipes….they seem to begin to slightly bend these pipes.”

Russian scientists call the holes hydrolaccoliths or bulgunnyakhs and say study of the bizarre phenomenon is at an early stage.

This content was originally published here.