20 Stories

Parents Chase After Son, All 3 Perish in Volcano Crater

Tragedy at Solfatara

(Newser) - A 7-year-old boy is the sole surviving member of a family that was wiped out in a horrific accident near Naples, Italy, on Tuesday. Reports conflict, but in general they agree that the Italian family's 11-year-old son crossed a protective barrier and entered an area of the Solfatara volcanic... More »

This Is Not a Bullet Hole. This Is Mars

Orbiter spots deep pit at Red Planet's south pole

(Newser) - Mars is the solar system's equivalent of a pock-marked teenager, with a surface dotted by countless craters and pits left by meteors, floods, and volcanoes. But there's one newly discovered pit that scientists just can't make sense of, reports Science Alert . It's a massive hole—believed... More »

Dramatic Rescue, With Surprise Help From Muddy Elephants

Asian elephants in Cambodia were mired in bomb crater—then assistance arrived

(Newser) - Teamwork both human and animal is what saved the lives of nearly a dozen Asian elephants in a Cambodian wildlife preserve after local farmers there stumbled upon a distressing sight: 11 of the endangered animals stuck in a mud-filled crater formed nearly a half-century ago by a Vietnam War bomb,... More »

2 Tiny Moons Orbiting Mars May Be Sole Survivors of Many

Scientists question the prevailing theory of how the 2 moons formed

(Newser) - The two moons that orbit Mars, Phobos and Deimos, are pretty dinky as far as moons go, clocking in at just 14 and 7.7 miles wide respectively and known for being rather pathetic potato-shaped bodies that more closely resemble asteroids. And so astronomers have hypothesized that they are in... More »

More Mystery Craters Appear in Siberia

One researcher likens them to mushrooms

(Newser) - More mysterious craters have been spotted in Siberia, and researchers are starting to sound more than a little alarmed about the phenomenon. Vasily Bogoyavlensky, deputy director of Russia's Oil and Gas Research Institute, says at least seven suspicious craters have now been spotted—five of them in a region... More »

Wisconsin Crater Yields One of the Rarest Minerals

450M-year-old reidite find is most ancient yet

(Newser) - Reidite is one of the rarest minerals on earth—it's been found in only four places. The most recent is Rock Elm, Wisconsin, where scientists discovered the material in a crater, reports. The crater has been around since the geologic period known as the Middle Ordovician, and... More »

Scientists Explore Mysterious 'End of World' Crater

Working theory is that the crater formed from a release of gas hydrates

(Newser) - When a mysterious crater was discovered this past summer on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia, origin theories abounded, including it being the work of extraterrestrials, a man-made hoax, a meteorite, or the result of a stray missile colliding with the surface of the Earth. Now that it's cold... More »

Mystery Crater Surfaces on Utah Farm

Theories include collapsed soil, earthquakes, or 'Martian art'

(Newser) - Gary Dalton was draining the irrigation pond on his farmland in Circleville, Utah, when he made a startling discovery: a giant crater staring back up at him from the bottom of the basin. "The sun was just right, so I saw this blasted thing that no one had ever... More »

Mystery of Giant Holes at 'End of the World' May Be Solved

Geologist thinks biggest is a sinkhole that 'erupted,' thanks to melting permafrost

(Newser) - Huge, mysterious gaping holes in Northern Siberia may not be such a mystery anymore. One scientist has pinned down a cause and, spoiler alert, it's not aliens or weapons testing, as had been theorized . The first hole discovered in the Yamal Peninsula, which is 260 feet wide , is likely... More »

New Giant Holes Found at 'End of the World'

Experts puzzle over Siberian craters

(Newser) - One of the most remote areas in the world seems to be slowly turning into something resembling a slice of Swiss cheese. Two new huge holes have been discovered in a Siberian region nicknamed "the end of the world," reports the Siberian Times . A 260-foot-wide crater found in... More »

Mystery Crater Spotted Near 'End of the World'

Scientists in Siberia out to investigate and to debunk speculation

(Newser) - It's tailor-made for crazy conspiracy theories: A big mysterious crater has formed in a part of Siberia known as the "end of the world," reports the Siberian Times . Video of the 260-foot-wide hole has caused such a stir in the region that a team of Russian scientists... More »

'Door to Hell' Still Burning, 42 Years Later

Scientists set it afire in 1971, expecting brief blaze

(Newser) - Locals call it the “Door to Hell.” Scientists expected this 230-foot-wide crater to burn out a few hours after the fire was started. That was in 1971. The flames have been blazing for more than 40 years. It all started when a Soviet team of scientists was drilling... More »

Comet, Not Asteroid, Wiped Out Dinosaurs

Scientists tweak theory on what slammed into Earth

(Newser) - Scientists still think a space rock slammed into Earth 65 million years ago in a catastrophic collision that wiped out the dinosaurs and most other species. But a new theory presented this week suggests that the space rock was a speedy comet, not a hulking asteroid as previously believed, reports... More »

'Trillions of Carats': Russia Sitting on Diamond Trove

Can supply world for 3K years

(Newser) - Russia is now a girl's best friend: A 62-mile-wide crater in Siberia sits on top of a diamond field that's home to "trillions of carats," scientists say. "By comparison, present-day known reserves" in Russia's Yakutia diamond operations are thought to be in the neighborhood... More »

Oldest Impact Crater Found in Greenland

Meteorite probably smashed down about 3B years ago

(Newser) - Scientists have uncovered what might be the oldest meteorite crater on Earth. Located in Greenland, it's about 62 miles wide and was likely formed 3 billion years ago when a 19-mile-wide meteorite collided with our planet, reports . Today, an impact that size likely would wipe out humans.... More »

Thousands-of-Years-Long Meteor Shower Killed Dinos

Study: There were many meteor strikes, not one

(Newser) - Some scientists believe a single meteor strike in the Gulf of Mexico doomed the dinosaurs, but new research suggests that the dinosaurs may have been wiped out by a meteor shower that lasted thousands of years, finds the Telegraph . A recent study of a crater in Ukraine, which dates much,... More »

Seabed 'Fried Egg' May Be Impact Crater

Scientists believe meteor caused odd formation

(Newser) - Portuguese scientists mapping the Atlantic Ocean seabed believe a strange formation they have discovered may be one of the very few undersea impact craters ever found. The depression—dubbed the "Fried Egg" because of its shape—is roughly 4 miles wide with a central dome. The researchers believe it... More »

Moon Rocks Still Giving Up Gritty Secrets

Lunar rocks have helped unlock secrets of solar system, demise of dinosaurs

(Newser) - Almost 40 years after Apollo astronauts brought samples of the moon back to Earth, the extraterrestrial rocks are still yielding new information, the New York Times reports. In addition to attention from the Johnson Space Center, where they reside, samples are mailed out—on loan only, and usually less than... More »

Odds of Cataclysmic Space-Rock Crash: 1 in 10

Despite danger, NASA doing little to protect planet

(Newser) - Chicken Little may have been smarter than we thought. A growing body of evidence reveals that the sky is falling, or at least gigantic space rocks are—and the Earth is at far greater risk of a catastrophic strike than previously thought, reports Atlantic. Despite the danger—an impact could... More »

Mercury 'Spider Crater' Spotted

Probe reveals never-before-seen side of Mercury

(Newser) - NASA's first probe to Mercury in more than 30 years has made some spectacular finds, including a mysterious new crater dubbed "the spider," reports. The network of cracks radiating from the impact crater photographed by the probe is like nothing else ever seen in the solar... More »

20 Stories