Satellite imagery shows that one of the large craters on the Yamal peninsula is actually now surrounded by about 20 smaller craters filled with water, according to the Siberian Times. The mysterious holes are thought to be related to climate change, as unusually warm temperatures in the area lead to explosive releases of a large amount of gas hydrates.
The discovery around the Yamal peninsula crater could indicate that there are more holes around the other large craters as well. “I would compare this with mushrooms,” Russian scientist Vasily Bogoyavlensky told the newspaper. “When you find one mushroom, be sure there are few more around. I suppose there could be 20 to 30 craters more.”