What Caused the Patomskiy Crater?

By | May 11, 2019

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Patomskiy Crater. Source: (wikipedia.org)

In 1949, in Irkutsk, Siberia, a geologist happened upon a mysterious crater. To this day, scientists have yet to positively identify what caused it. At first, it was believed to be from a meteorite, while others speculated about nuclear blasts, UFOs, and neutron stars drilling through the planet. Still, others believe the crater to possess deadly powers.

Discovered by Russian geologist Vadim Kolpakov, the Patomskiy crater, named after a nearby river, consists of a circular mound with a diameter of 520 feet and a height of 139 feet. In the middle of the depressed center is a rounded hill with a height of 39 feet. It has the vague appearance of an eagle’s nest with an egg inside and, as a result, has earned the nickname “Fire Eagle Nest.” Kolpakov was warned to steer clear of the crater by locals who insisted that it possessed an evil power and would kill anyone who stepped inside. Kolpakov was unafraid and survived climbing the mound; however, the leader of a 2005 expedition to the crater died of a heart attack shortly afterward.

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Vadim Kolpakov and his wife studying the pictures the expedition made. Source: (The Siberian Times)

Kolpakov was the first to suggest that the crater was caused by a meteorite; however, he was unable to collect samples to support his theory. More recent expeditions have been able to get samples and, as a result, ruled out many of the theories contemplated since Kolakov’s discovery. A volcanic eruption was rejected due to the relatively small size of the crater and the fact that there are no volcanoes nearby. A nuclear explosion was ruled out due to the lack of radiation. The possibility of a UFO landing there would not explain the presence of limestone.