The Siberian ‘gateway to hell’ that keeps growing larger with no end in sight

Batagayka crater in Siberia, known as the “gateway to hell” by locals, is almost 1 kilometer in length and 86 meters in depth. The structure is named after the near-flowing Batagayka, a right tributary of the river Yana. The land began to sink due to the thawing permafrost in the 1960s after the surrounding forest was cleared. Flooding also contributed to the enlargement of the crater. Archeologists have found ice age fossils buried in the mud around the rim of the crater. The rim is extremely unstable as there are regular landslides into the crater and the permafrost is constantly thawing. The Batagayka crater is making noises too as it consumes large chunks of the area. The crater is currently growing in size and it will likely eat through the entire hill slope before it slows down. Frank Günther of the  Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany, showed that over the past decade crater grew by an average of 10 meters per year.

By NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. – https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=90104&src=eoa-iotd, Public Domain, Link

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Illusion of a ‘breathing forest’ in Canada

Photo Credit: Maxpixel

“The ground looks like it’s breathing in this Quebec forest,” wrote user Daniel Holland on twitter. According to the Forbes report, air is involved in this illusion, as strong wind plays a role in moving the trees and the topsoil. During a storm the ground becomes saturated with water, loosening the soil’s cohesion. As strong winds move the top of the tree, the force is transferred by the stem, acting as a lever, to the roots and the ground begins to move.

The wind caused the trees to sway, roots and all. In fact, the whole floor seems to rise and fall as if the earth itself was breathing. The phenomenon works best with spruce trees with their almost disc-shaped root system growing in the uppermost layers of the soil.

Fascinating winter phenomenon – Snow rollers

By PerduejnOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. Unlike snowballs made by people, snow rollers are typically cylindrical in shape, and are often hollow since the inner layers, which are the first layers to form, are weak and thin compared to the outer layers and can easily be blown away, leaving what looks like a doughnut or Swiss roll. (Source Wikipedia)

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Oregon’s ‘Lost Lake’ disappearing through lava tubes

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Oregon is home to the towering Cascades, a range of mountains and active volcanoes. The Lost Lake likely formed about 3,000 years ago, when lava flowing from a volcanic vent blocked a river channel and created the lake. The lake bed begins to fill in the late fall, when the amount of rain coming in starts exceeding the ability of the lava tubes to drain off the water. But during the dry months, the lake vanishes and turns into meadow. The reason? Two hollow lava tubes at the bottom of the lake are constantly draining the lake dry, much like a bathtub left unplugged. It’s not entirely clear where the water goes, but it possibly seeps into the porous subsurface underground. There have been numerous attempts to plug the leak, those endeavors, however, would only result in the lake flooding. Continue reading Oregon’s ‘Lost Lake’ disappearing through lava tubes

Living Light – a lamp powered by photosynthesis

Living Light is a lamp which harvests its energy through the photosynthetic process of the plant. As the plant photosynthesizes, it releases organic compounds into a soil chamber below. The organic matter is broken down by bacteria fostered through a microbial fuel cell. When this happens, electrons are created and transported away from the soil. The electric current is passed along a wire and fed into a ring fitted with LEDs. These light up when a user touches the plant’s leaves.
Dutch designer Ermi van Oers and her team will start off with a small production in 2018. Plans are already in place with Rotterdam to illuminate a city park.

Find out more on livinglight.info

Crown Shyness – A Phenomenon Where Trees Avoid Touching

Photo: Imgur

Crown shyness (also canopy disengagement) is a phenomenon observed in some tree species, in which the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other, forming a canopy with channel-like gaps. The phenomenon is most prevalent among trees of the same species, but also occurs between trees of different species. There exist many hypotheses as to why crown shyness is an adaptive behavior, and the most prominent theory, is that the gaps prevent the proliferation of invasive insects.

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