Strange Phenomena in a Meteorite Crater

Strange Phenomena in a Meteorite Crater

4 January 2010

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China — Strange phenomena have been happening in Gulong Village, a round pit with a diameter of 1.8 kilometers, since ancient times. It is found that they are due to a meteorite strike in the area.

According to Chinese Science Bulletin, when Gulong villagers get water from wells, there is always a layer of oil on top of the water. In addition, after the black soil from this village is dried, it can burn in fire.

Trees, grasses, crops, and other plants grow very well in the village. Currently, there are 64 families in the village, 30 of which are surnamed Feng. The villagers rarely get sick, so the village is known as a longevity village.

The villagers live a self-sustained life as the rural area is very slow in developing. Without any industry, the environment has little pollution. Because the village is surrounded by mountains, it is very isolated and rarely affected by the outside world. Therefore, these phenomena are likely to be related to the pit itself.

Experts have offered the explanation that tens of thousands of years ago, a large number of plants died and was converted into coal, so the soil became peat. As the soil contains a large amount of coal, it can burn. At the same time, water’s inability to flow through the peat results in oil suspension in the wells.

So how was the pit formed? After three years of investigation, a group of researchers headed by Dr. Chen Ming from the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences published a paper in 2007 confirming that the Liaoning Xiuyan pit is a meteorite impact crater. After the meteorite strike, the deformation and melting of rock and mineral matter formed the pit.

Chen analyzed the material in the pit and estimated that the meteorite strike happened 50,000 years ago. Water accumulated in the pit to form a lake, and the sediment eventually reached over 100 meters deep. About 39,000 years ago, the lake gradually diminished due to a gap in the east wall of the pit, forming the present bowl-like valley.

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