Overnight, a waterway in China turned a blood red color — shades of a little Ghostbusters II action, perhaps — and we’re up to two (as opposed to one) deep craters in Siberia, in a place locals had already called “the end of the world.”
Let’s start with China; the explanation here may be a bit easier. If you scroll down on that first link, you’ll find this nugget of information:
Xiao said there is a paper manufacturer, a food coloring company and clothing-maker a long the river. The bureau is still investigating the incident.
All three seem potentially likely culprits for a river turning red, but the middle one is probably the leading candidate.
The Siberia story is a bit weirder. Here’s something from The Washington Post:
Locals can’t seem to get their stories straight over what happened, he explained. “According to local residents, the hole formed on September 27, 2013. Observers give several versions. According to the first, initially the place was smoking and then there was a bright flash. In the second version, a celestial body fell there.”
A celestial body? Sheesh. We are down the rabbit hole here.
There is a more logical explanation, potentially — although it doesn’t necessarily bode well for the future of our planet either. According to The Weather Channel’s website:
About 10,000 years ago, the area was a sea, and a mixture of salt, sand, gas and water froze into ice underground, Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center scientist Anna Kurchatova told the Siberian Times. As the globe has warmed, she said, the ice is melting and the gas is being released, causing an effect like a champagne cork popping off a bottle.
These underground explosions are causing the holes, Kurchatova believes.
The holes may foreshadow bigger problems for our planet in the near future, scientists worry. Permafrost around the Arctic contains methane and carbon dioxide, and both could be dangerous to our environment if released, according to a report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. As long as the permafrost remains frozen, the report adds, this isn’t a concern, but climate models have painted a grim future for rising temperatures in the Arctic.
Yea — this is all fairly depressing. It doesn’t necessarily mean Loki and others are arriving on the Earth any time soon (I saw a Silver Surfer joke on Facebook too), but it doesn’t paint the greatest picture of where our planet is headed either. Here’s a kicker:
We’re in for more of this leaky, hole-y, drunken world. Per National Geographic: “Some climate models have predicted that most permafrost could melt by the end of the century.”