Siberia

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Russia Plans to Slaughter 250K Reindeer This Year

Officials say it's about curbing overgrazing, illness—but is it really about oil?

(Newser) - In 2013, 61,000 reindeer in Russia's northern Yamal region, a remote section of Siberia, starved to death when ice and deep snow sealed off the Arctic tundra where they graze. This summer, the region's first outbreak of anthrax in 75 years —an epidemic thought to be... More »

Thousands of Perfect Snowballs Turn Up on Arctic Beach

And they're all natural

(Newser) - It looks for all the world like an epic winter battle is in the making, but it turns out that thousands of perfectly shaped snowballs that showed up on a beach in Siberia are the result of a natural phenomenon. The strange sight emerged on the shore of the Gulf... More »

Teen Tries to Impress Girl, Falls 23 Stories From Balcony

And somehow survives

(Newser) - A 16-year-old boy who set out to impress a girl probably did not accomplish his intended goal. The Siberian teen climbed over a railing and swung from the handrails of a 23rd-floor balcony ... and ended up falling, all in an attempt to impress a girl who was in the Novosibirsk... More »

Toddler Wanders Into Bear-Filled Forest, Survives for Days

'Mowgli' slept under a tree to escape frost

(Newser) - A 3-year-old boy in Siberia has been given the nickname Mowgli after he survived three days in a bear-infested forest as temperatures neared 32 degrees. Tserin Dopchut had been playing with dogs near his home in the village of Khut when he wandered into the forest on Sunday, possibly while... More »

Red River in Russia Is Freaking Everyone Out

Some are pointing the finger at pollution possibly caused by local nickel factory

(Newser) - Russian officials are looking into a phenomenon that's been documented by a flurry of pictures on social media: one of the country's northernmost rivers turning a bloodlike bright red. CNN reports that the Daldykan River shifted to a rouge hue on Tuesday, and while some are saying the... More »

Could an 1890s Smallpox Outbreak Come Back to Haunt Us?

Researchers fear melting permafrost will revive the virus

(Newser) - A video of scientists in hazmat suits incinerating animal carcasses in Siberia looks straight out of a sci-fi movie about a rogue virus, notes Vice News . The scariest part? Such a sight might become more familiar. The video arose because melting permafrost caused a long-frozen reindeer carcass to thaw and... More »

Anthrax Hits Siberia After Decades Frozen in Reindeer Carcass

1,500 reindeer are dead, and 13 people have been hospitalized

(Newser) - After decades spent trapped inside a frozen reindeer carcass, anthrax is back to wreak havoc on Siberia, the Washington Post reports. Siberia hadn't had an anthrax outbreak since 1941. But, according to NBC News , approximately 1,500 reindeer have been killed by the bacterium since Sunday and 13 members... More »

'Gateway to the Underworld' May Be Something Worse

As weather warms, craters grow, scientists say

(Newser) - A gaping—and growing—hole in the middle of a Siberian forest isn't the gateway to the underworld, as some frightened locals believe. It may be worse. The Batagaika crater, the biggest megaslump on Earth, may be be a "harbinger" of our warming planet, as Motherboard puts it.... More »

US Student Who Vanished in Siberia Found Dead

No one knows why Colin Madsen took off into freezing cold in middle of the night

(Newser) - A Missouri man attending college in Russia headed with friends on Easter weekend to a popular resort town known for its mineral springs, with plans to hike a mountain, the AP reports. But when 25-year-old Colin Madsen's friends—two Russian locals and an American student—woke up early Easter... More »

Newly Discovered Prehistoric Puppy Still Has Fur, Brain

And a 'controversial' scientist wants to clone it

(Newser) - Scientists are poised to learn a lot more about prehistoric man's best friend after discovering a shockingly well-preserved 12,400-year-old puppy in Siberia, the Telegraph reports. The mummified Pleistocene canid—almost certainly an extinct species—is believed to have been killed by a landslide near the village of Tumat,... More »

Woman Isolated for Decades in Siberia Emerges

70-year-old Agafia Lykova used a satellite phone to get help from the 'mainland'

(Newser) - In 2013, Smithsonian told a fascinating story : the tale of a family of six who lived deep in the Siberian wilderness for 40 years with zero contact from other humans—and no awareness of WWII—until geologists found them in 1978. Now, the last surviving member of that family has... More »

Shed Fat in Siberia, Get Coal Dumped in Your Yard

The concept may even be turned into a reality-TV show

(Newser) - Shedding the pounds in Siberia can come with a particularly welcome reward—coal. When Aman Tuleyev, the long-serving—and somewhat overweight—governor of Russia's Kemerovo region, promised earlier this year to reward locals with 1.5 metric tons of coal for every 10 kilos [around 22 pounds] lost, everyone... More »

Man Downloads Fallout 4, Loses Wife and Job

Russian is now suing game's creator, claiming he developed an addiction

(Newser) - A 28-year-old gamer from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk is suing Fallout 4 maker Bethesda Game Studios for an addiction he says cost him his wife, job, and health. After seeing an ad and downloading the game last month, he found himself emerging from a bunker into a post-apocalyptic world,... More »

10K-Year-Old Extinct Species Found in Cave

These creatures once roamed alongside woolly mammoths

(Newser) - One of Earth's long-extinct and ancient predators has been found—wholly intact for the first time—in a cave in eastern Russia, the Siberian Times reports. According to the Academy of Sciences of Yakutia, two cave lion cubs were discovered this summer almost totally preserved by permafrost in the... More »

Scientist Injects Self With 'Eternal Life' Bacteria

Russian researcher saw mice, flies reaped benefits from bacteria, so why not?

(Newser) - In 2009, a 3.5-million-year-old bacteria strain called Bacillus F was discovered deep in the permafrost of Siberia's Sakha Republic, per Medical Daily . Scientists soon after found that mice and fruit flies exposed to the bacteria seemed to get a boost to their immune systems, leading to longer lives... More »

Prehistoric 'Frankenviruses' Could Rise Again

Viruses, buried in permafrost, could be revived with climate change

(Newser) - A 30,000-year-old "giant virus" could be brought back to life thanks to a surprise discovery 100 feet deep in Siberia's permafrost. The virus, Mollivirus sibericum or "soft virus from Siberia," qualifies as giant because it is 0.6 micrometers and can be seen under a... More »

Oil Workers Strike ... Woolly Mammoth

Tusk came up in excavator bucket

(Newser) - Oil workers in Siberia struck woolly mammoth while carrying out land reclamation work. The workers near Nyagan in western Siberia halted digging with the excavator when a tusk turned up in the bucket, and used hand shovels to find more of the mammoth's skeleton around 10 feet under the... 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 »

Expert: Mystery Sword Was Ivan the Terrible's

Russian archaeologist says it fell during a historic battle

(Newser) - A medieval mystery sword found nearly 40 years ago in Siberia belonged to the notorious Ivan the Terrible, if a rather colorful theory can be believed. Scholars have long wondered how the 12th-century blade—which looks central European by design and was later adorned with Norse runes and a silver... 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 »

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