Mystery in Siberia - The Patomsky Crater
Patomsky crater – view from a helicopter – Dmitry Semenov, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Deep in the remote wilderness of Siberia, a land known for its harsh climate and vast, untamed landscapes, lies a geological oddity that has puzzled scientists and adventurers alike. This is the Patomsky Crater, an unusual formation whose origin story is as mysterious as it is compelling. Discovered in 1949 by geologist Vadim Kolpakov, the Patomskiy Crater, also known as the Patomskiy Crater or the Fire Eagle Nest, stands as a solitary mound in a land otherwise known for its flat, expansive terrain.

The crater, roughly 40 meters high and about 150 meters in diameter, is characterized by its unique, cone-like shape, resembling a giant anthill or a volcanic cone, yet it sits in an area with no known volcanic activity. This incongruity has led to a variety of theories about its formation, each trying to explain how such a structure could come to exist in this isolated part of Siberia.

One of the most popular theories suggests that the crater is the result of a meteorite impact. Proponents of this theory point to the crater’s shape, which is somewhat similar to that of other known impact craters. However, searches for meteoritic material in and around the crater have yielded inconclusive results, and the structure lacks other typical impact features, such as a raised rim or ejecta blanket.

Another hypothesis posits that the crater could be the result of a volcanic eruption. Siberia is home to the Siberian Traps, one of the largest volcanic provinces in the world. Yet, the lack of volcanic rock or other common signs of volcanic activity at the site makes this explanation unlikely.

A more recent and intriguing theory suggests that the Patomskiy Crater could be the result of a natural hydrogen explosion, caused by the combination of underground gas emissions and specific geological conditions. This theory is supported by the crater’s composition and the lack of extraterrestrial material. However, it is still a subject of debate among scientists.

Adding to the mystery is the local folklore surrounding the crater. The indigenous Evenki people have long known of its existence and avoided it, considering it to be a sinister place, inhabited by evil spirits. Stories and legends passed down through generations have contributed to the aura of mystery that envelops the crater.

The harshness of the Siberian wilderness, combined with the crater’s remote location, has made scientific study difficult. Expeditions to the site are few and far between, and each has struggled to provide definitive answers. Even with modern technology, the Patomskiy Crater remains an enigmatic presence, a geological puzzle waiting to be solved.

The Patomskiy Crater is a testament to the Earth’s capacity for mystery and surprise. It challenges our understanding of geology and beckons the curious with its unanswered questions. In a world where satellite imagery and advanced exploration techniques have left few places unexamined, the Patomskiy Crater stands as a reminder of the unknown, a whisper of the undiscovered still waiting in the remote corners of our planet.

Don Leith

By Don Leith

Retired from the real world. A love of research left over from my days on the debate team in college long ago led me to work on this website. Granted, not all these stories are "fun" or even "trivial" But they all are either weird, unusual or even extraordinary. Working on this website is "fun" in any case. Hope you enjoy it!