Something Is Causing Siberia’s Tundra to Literally Bubble Underground

GIF: YouTube/Siberian Times
The frigid plains of northern Siberia are becoming a hotspot for mysterious geological phenomena. Over the past couple of years, sudden craters have been exploding from the permafrost-laden ground. Last month, we reported on a giant chasm in the Sakha Republic that looms so wide and deep, locals refer to it as a “gateway to the underworld.”

By Sarah Emerson | MOTHERBOARD

Now, the frozen tundra on Siberia’s remote Belyy Island is home to the region’s newest aberration: eerie, rippling, underground bubbles.

In a video released today by the Siberian Times, researchers Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich investigate a seemingly nondescript tract of grass that turns out to be a large, concealed pocket of… something. Kind of like a trampoline, the subterranean bubble forcibly undulates as Sokolov puts pressure on one side using his foot. According to the Russian scientists, a total of 15 blister-like patches were discovered on the island.

The researchers who captured the strange footage said both methane and carbon dioxide poured out of the bubble when it was punctured. It’s still unclear why or how these pockets of gas first formed, but it’s possible that an unusual heat wave caused permafrost to thaw, which allowed trapped methane gas to escape.

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