This is the largest permafrost (ground that remains below 32 degrees F for two or more years, like 85% of Alaska, Greenland, Canada and Siberia. It is formed from ice holding various types of soil, sand and rock combinations) crater in the world.
It is a little over a half mile long and 328 feet deep and growing. Back in the 1960’s the area where the crater is now, was cleared of forest and since has been sinking due to the thawing permafrost. The rim is extremely unstable with landslides into the crater.
This combination of less shading and less vapid transpiration led to warming of the ground surfaceJulian Murton of the University of Sussex in the UK
This deepening is allowing insight into 200,000 years of climate data revealing a host of fossilized materials. The Crater is in northern Siberia just 6.2 miles from Batagay, a settlement founded in 1939, on the Yana River, near the Artic Circle.
A prehistoric foal was found here, completely intact, that had lived in Siberia 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. The believe it was about two month old when it died. Read more here.
They have also found fossils of Woolly Mammoths and Rhinos, Cave Lions and Bears, Musk Ox and many others. The Batagaika Crater is also known as the “megaslump” and the locals refer to it as “the gateway to the underworld”.