Patomskiy Crater

The Patomskiy Crater as seen from a helicopter. Photo: Wikipedia.

The Patomskiy Crater is a large scar on the landscape of Siberia that has puzzled scientists since its discovery in 1949. Theories about its creation range from volcanic gas to meteorites to UFOs.

The discovery of the Patomskiy Crater

A photo from inside the Patomskiy Crater – The Siberian Times

The Patomskiy Crater is a 150ft by 130ft hole in the ground in the middle of dense Russian taiga in a remote area in the Irkutsk region, 210km north of Bodaibo.

Before 1949 even the local Yakut people didn’t really know about it. The few that did revered it as a spiritual or even evil place. It was known as the Fire Eagle’s Nest and local legend said that animals would refuse to go near it. It was claimed that people who visited the crater would often go missing or die an unexplained death.

In 1949 the Patomskiy Crater was discovered by geologist Vadim Kolpakov who was sent to the region in order to map out it’s geological features. He wrote:

“When I first saw the crater I thought that I’d gone crazy because of the heat. And indeed a perfectly shaped mount of a size of a 25-storey building with a chopped off top sitting in the middle of the woods was quite an unexpected discovery.

’From a distance it looked like a mine-shaft slagheap, only whitish. I even thought, ‘Where are the people?’ There were no labour camps in the area. Unless a very, very secret one?

’My second thought was an archaeological artifact. But the local Evenks and Yakuts, with my respect for them, are not the ancient Egyptians. They could not build stone pyramids, and didn’t have any human resources nor the necessary scientific knowledge.”

’I got closer and realised that the mysterious hill was not the work of a human. It rather looked like a perfectly round mouth of a volcano with a height of 70 metres. But volcanoes have not appeared on the border of Yakutia and Irkutsk region for several million years. And the crater was pretty fresh. It is located on the slope of a hill overgrown with larch. ‘

’The trees still did not grow on the slopes and in the crater, the winds had not brought the soil yet. I estimated the age of this anomaly at some 200 to 250 years. And another mystery – a semi-circular dome cavity with a diameter of 15 meters in the centre of a crater. In volcanoes, even extinct, such domes cannot exist.’”

— The Siberian Times

Theories about how the Patomskiy Crater was created

The 2006 Expedition Team – Photo: The Siberian Times


Some scientists believe that the Patomskiy Crater was caused by an incredibly dense meteorite that sunk deep into the ground upon impact.

Some believe the Patomskiy Crater may even be linked to the Tunguska explosion. Perhaps a pieced of the meteorite that caused Tunguska broke off and caused the Patomskiy Crater.

Underground Gas

A 2006 expedition by the Institute of Geochemistry came to a conclusion that the Patomskiy Crater was probably caused by normal geological process within the earth.

According to this study, the crater formed only 300 to 350 years ago and was caused by intensive introduction of deep gas flows of matter, which led to the transformation of silicate rocks within the crater.

The Patom Crater Conference in 2010 confirmed the 2006 expedition’s findings. Most experts now believe this theory to be the most likely.


UFO enthusiasts believe the Patomskiy Crater may be the impact site of a crashed extraterrestrial aircraft. This is somewhat supported by evidence of large amounts of radiation that have been present over the years and have only begun to fade in the last few decades.

Some scientists who have studied the crater believe there may be unspent nuclear fuel from a spacecraft causing this unnatural radiation spike.

What do you think caused the Patomskiy Crater? Let us know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in learning about the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident or the mysterious Indrid Cold.

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