Underground Gases May Be Turning Siberian Soil Into a Trampoline


Two researchers on the remote Belyy Island in Siberia stumbled upon a surreal sight recently. Walking across a nondescript field, they noticed patches of ground that trembled and bounced beneath their feet, moving with an elasticity more common to trampolines than solid ground.

The Siberian Times reports that the researchers, Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich, spotted 15 patches of the strange, bouncy grass-covered soil. When they punctured the plots of soil, they emitted methane and carbon dioxide.

While Sokolov and Ehrich aren’t yet sure what’s causing the ground on Belyy Island to bubble up, they believe climate change may be to blame. Motherboard explains that Belyy, located in the Arctic Ocean’s Kara Sea, is normally blanketed in permafrost. As the temperature has risen, however, the permafrost in Belyy has begun to melt. Researchers believe the melting permafrost and abnormal heat may be releasing methane and carbon dioxide gases, causing the ground to effervesce, transforming the Siberian tundra into a bizarre bouncy trampoline.

[h/t Siberian Times]

Banner Image Credit: Siberian Times, YouTube