Siberia’s ‘gateway to the underworld’ is growing by 35 million cubic feet per year, study finds

The “gateway to the underworld,” a huge crater in Siberia’s permafrost, is growing  by 35 million cubic feet (1 million cubic meters) every year as the frozen ground melts, according to a new study.

The crater, officially known as the Batagay (also spelled Batagaika) crater or megaslump, features a rounded cliff face that was first spotted on satellite images in 1991 after a section of hillside collapsed in the Yana Uplands of northern Yakutia in Russia. This collapse exposed layers of permafrost within the remaining portion of the hillside that have been frozen for up to 650,000 years — the oldest permafrost in Siberia and second oldest in the world.