Mysterious Circle in Antarctica Could Have Been Caused by Meteorite Crash (Video)

January 14, 2015 Updated: January 14, 2015

One might think not a lot happens in Antarctica, but that may no longer be a safe assumption.

It appears that a meteorite hit the continent’s eastern region, creating a massive, circular scar in the King Baudouin Ice Shelf. At least this is what scientists from Fielax and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany believe happened in 2004 or earlier.

The broken ice was first spotted by geophysicist Christian Müller during a routine surveying flight at the end of December 2014. The area, about 1.24 miles wide, was the only craggy part in an otherwise flat, unmarked terrain.

The scientists believe that a big meteorite exploded in the atmosphere, expelling debris which crashed onto the ice sheet. Preliminary evidence includes infrasound data suggesting a meteoric explosion above the area in 2004 and the observation of a dust trail around the same time and place.

Skeptics have voiced their doubts about the findings due to the crater’s size. No meteoric explosion that big has been documented in the earth’s recent history.

The team has reportedly found satellite images from 1996 that appear to show the crater. They still believe it was from an impact however, and will continue to analyze the data collected and may even drill into the ice to look for more evidence.