What is this mystery crater that openend up at the bottom of an irrigation pond in rural Utah?
Scientists and farmers are baffled!
CIRCLEVILLE, Piute County, Utah – Farmers and scientists in southern Utah are scratching their heads and trying to figure out what caused an unusual phenomenon in an irrigation pond. Earlier this week, Gary Dalton of Circleville discovered a mysterious crater that suddenly appeared under the water.
He noticed the weird hollow formation after most of the water was drained from the pond for irrigation. Just beneath the surface he saw concentric circles in the pond bottom with a diameter of about 25 feet.
The outer ring is a circular depression filled with algae. An inner circle looks as though something erupted from beneath, forming what looks startlingly like a small volcanic crater.
Could this be Martian art? Experts from the Utah Geological Survey took a look and were initially baffled as well.
So what is this strange volcanic-like feature?
- A natural spring, pushing up from under the pond after being supercharged by recent rains. The theory was discarded because there is no spring here.
- Buried pipeline had exploded underground? But there is no pipeline.
- Methane gas from decaying organic material under the pond? Could be but the local geology isn’t the type that sometimes causes such events.
- Earthquakes? Yes! But there were no earthquakes in the Circleville area powerful enough to trigger liquefaction.
- A volcanic eruption or a Martian landing? Shut up!
- A meteor impact crater? A fiery meteor was seen in the sky a few weeks ago. The sighting took place long before the crater appeared. Also, no one in nearby Circleville reported hearing any loud booms.
The leading theory is a geologic condition called collapsible soils. The pond has been drained and refilled more than a dozen times in the last two years. The theory is that the repeated loading of weight on the soil eventually led some of the soil under the pond to collapse, creating a small eruption.
Although this is the most plausible cause, chief geologists have never heard of and seen such a phenomenon taking place under water.
In definitive, the origin of this weird crater remains unexplained. How do you think this mystery crater formed?