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The Russian Mystery Holes

Claim- A strange phenomenon is happening in some Russian forests. Mysteries holes are popping up all over the country, and no-one seems to know where they are coming from, or how they got there. They appear in the dense forest where you can't possibly get a car or truck, or any equipment to drill them, and there is no dirt nearby that could have come from them.

Verdict- Misleading. This claim has been making it's rounds on Facebook again recently, although it's been around for many years. A quick search brings up literally hundreds of sites in several different languages within the last 12 years about this. Most of them have the same wording, with no real information on any of them, and no pictures of any other holes than the one pictured here. There are plenty of hypothesis however, ranging from them being natural sinkholes to claims of them being samples of earth taken by aliens. One claim even went as far as saying that they are dug from below by "mole people." Looking at the hole you can clearly see it was drilled by the horizontal marks on the walls, which eliminates the chances that it is a sinkhole or a naturally occurring phenomenon.

The pictures accompanying the claim (more here taken around 10 years after the initial discovery) sheds some light on this, and although they don't solve the "mystery", they do paint a different scenario that what is claimed. The pictures you see are from a hole found in  Kharkov, Ukraine that was discovered in the late 1980's by a sheep herder out tending his flock by the name of Pyotr Malinkin. He supposedly claims the hole was not there the day before, and had appeared overnight.

The few surrounding trees shown in the pictures are not very old, and could have grown there since whenever the hole was originally created to the time the photos were taken. The area has been  heavily involved for the last century producing many things such as locomotives, airplanes, tractors, turbines, metal cutting machines, and mining equipment easily capable of  holes this size and much larger.  Things are not looking quite so good for the "Aliens did it" theory, unless of course they are referring to immigrants from a different country.

So, now we know that this hole is not out in the middle of some dense uninhabited forest as is claimed. We know the area easily has the capabilities to make such a hole without any problems. We know it wasn't naturally occurring. We also know that the hole isn't really all that deep from the rest of the pictures, although you still wouldn't want to fall in to it. All in all, it pretty much comes down to it either being  an old well, or some company came along drilling test holes in search of resources, and didn't find any. Either way, if the hole was filled back in improperly, most of the fill would have washed out over time from heavy rains, exposing it once more.

So what about the rest of these "holes" that are claimed to be appearing all over the place? There doesn't seem to be much, if any, evidence of them even existing. According to the locals near the one the pictures were taken of, there is supposedly another one nearby that is much larger, but no one has been able to find it.

Sources/More Reading
Kharkov, Ukraine Industry
Mysterious Holes, (English Russia)
uh.ru (More pics/ another claim in Russian)

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