Patom crater is one of the most mysterious places on the planet.
General information about the Patomsky crater
Patom crater is a conical hill of crushed limestone, located in the Bodaibo district of the Irkutsk region. The crater is a conical elevation, reaching 40 meters in height, its diameter slightly exceeds 180 meters. Covered with grey crushed limestone crater similar to a lunar crater, but unlike the craters on the Earth satellite, the Patom crater is located on the hillside, completely covered with taiga.
Cone Kolpakov would be correct to call a truncated cone – it is not crowned with a pointed top, but the top, which is a flat circular shaft in the center of which is located a funnel presumably of volcanic origin. The volume of the cone is about 230-250 thousand m3, the weight of the crater is estimated at one million tons. On the slopes of the crater are several larches, whose age was estimated at 200 years, and in the center of the crater in the heart of the inland hill grows a single tree age of about 70 years.
Patomsky crater, also known as Chebulinsky or Yavlinsky and as the cone Kolpakov – opened it in honor of geologist Vladimir Kolpakov. The local population proudly calls it “the Nest of fire eagle”, though prefers to avoid.
History of the study of the patomsky crater
For the first time the crater was discovered in 1949 by geologist V. V. Kolpakov, exploring the Bodaibo area with the aim of creating a unified geological map of the USSR. Local residents told the geologist that he has detected a cone of limestone they call “the Nest of fire eagle”, but like many animals in the area, prefer to bypass the mysterious crater side. Kolpakov did not manage to attract to the crater proper attention — “sudden” appearance of the crater on the hillside in the Bodaibo district of the first caused no stir – the first expedition of the Commission on meteorites of the USSR visited the crater in 1963, and in 1971 was made a few shots with the helicopter. At the same time, in the long history of the crater ended.
The first complex expedition to Patom crater was sent in 2005 to the crater which is never reached – just 6 kilometers from the destination, the head of the expedition, E. Vorobiev died of a heart attack. The tragedy was immediately perceived as the curse of the nest, not wishing to have explored it. In 2006 was organized the third expedition to the crater, the purpose of which was placed the collection of materials for laboratory research. Thanks to expedition collected the species, it was found that the crater is of volcanic origin, although the version of meteor origin is completely ruled it was not. In addition, the expedition managed to establish that the crater is mainly composed of their limestone mixed with Sandstone, metamorphosed shale, quartz and feldspar-carbonate veins.
The expedition, conducted in 2008 and 2010, also supported the theory of volcanic origin and geochemical studies have found traces of endogenous reasons for the formation of the crater, evidence of magmatic processes deep in the earth. After three expeditions obtained results, many scientists agreed that Patom crater is nothing but a volcano formed by methane emissions, rather than the more traditional volcano lava. It is believed that in the vicinity of the crater or under them you can discover deposits of gas or oil.
Today, the crater is one of the most mysterious sights of Irkutsk region – about its origins is enriched by the most unusual version, and the definitive explanation of what is happening near crater anomalies was not given.
Theory of the origin of the patomsky crater
In addition to the official version about the volcanic origin of the patomsky crater, there are about two dozen informal, confirmation of which has not been found yet. The leading position among informal theories about the appearance of the crater is a series of “meteor” theories — theories about the fall of Patom highlands meteorites or other extraterrestrial bodies. One of the most popular “meteor” theory proposes that the cause of the patomsky crater has been the fall of fragments of the famous Tunguska meteorite. But a detailed study of the damage growing near the crater of the trees showed that anomalous activity in the area of the crater was observed 200-250 years ago – long before the fall of the Tunguska meteorite.
Also there is a version drop Patom highlands meteorite from another stellar system, which is indicated by the angle of incidence of the cosmic body is about 50-70 degrees to the plane in which move the body of our star system. A meteorite from another system could leave such a unique impression on the surface of the Earth, and his remains, if they are not melted while entering the atmosphere, could even be stored beneath the crater. The drop on the Patom plateau superdense body specifies the structure of the crater – the body upon impact with the surface of the plateau could not to explode, but to destroy soft rocks around him to separate many pieces, which over time has been squeezed out, forming a truncated cone. This theory was the discovery of a method of sensing at a depth of 150 meters below the crater of a powerful magnetic anomaly, presumably coming from alloy material with high iron content. Estimated value of the object under the crater can reach 40 meters wide and 600 meters long. Around theory about the fall of Patom upland alien super-dense body was built a lot of different guesses, one of which was the fall of the shard of a neutron star hundreds of years ago.
Other theories about the origin of the crater includes the extraordinary lightning strike, powerful enough for the formation of the crater, the formation of special geological bodies in the breakthrough of gas through the crust of the earth and even the conduct of underground nuclear explosions during the Cold war. Whatever it was, each new expedition to the crater raises more questions.
How to get to the patomsky crater
Patom crater is interesting not only to scientists, but also ordinary travellers who want to look at the Bodaibo anomaly. The crater is located in the heart of the Patom highlands, so get to it will not be so easy. To drive road transport impossible, so travellers will need a good knowledge of space Explorer.
The starting point of the trip will be the city of Bodaibo, located 200 kilometers from the crater. To get to Bodaibo of Irkutsk you can either by car or on regularly traveling into the center of the Bodaibo district of the plane. From Bodaibo path will run North to the village of Perevoz – to get to the Ferry building either on the SUV or a passing truck, next to the gold mines in the North of the district. From the Ferry building waiting for the tourists rafting on the river Homolka to its confluence with the river Awaludin and Jamaldin to the crater, located on the right Bank of the river. The total length of the alloy will be about 50 kilometers. On the way to the Patomsky crater you can often stumble upon the Yakutsk camps in which to tourists are very hospitable – here unexpected offers not only to try reindeer milk or cooked meat-eaters, but to stay for the night.