A mysterious, large ‘crack’ has been discovered in a Wyoming ranch, US, creating fears of hidden volcanoes and earthquakes.
Last month, two hunting guides discovered a crack in the ground in a ranch of central Wyoming in the Bighorn Mountains, but ignored it. However, a few weeks later on their return to the mountains they saw that the crack had become significantly wider than before.
“There it was, this huge slide or crack or whatever it is,” Sy Gilliland, owner of SNS Outfitter and Guides, which offers guided elk, antelope, deer, moose and bear hunts, told KUSA.
“I don’t really think anyone knows what happened out there, all of a sudden it was just there. I think the reason it’s so fascinating is it’s so big. And it doesn’t make any sense, where it happened it’s just like the ground opened up, and the size of it is just huge,” she added.
SNS reported on its Facebook page that the crack was about 50 yards wide and the length of six football fields. Two posts shared about the crack led to widespread curiousity and were shared nearly 10,000 times.
According to the SNS, locals have been referring to the newly formed trench as “the gash”, while others simply call it “the crack.” Photos from the crevasse reveal steep cliffs, massive earthen towers and large boulders strewn across the bottom.
The gash’s size and the speed at which it formed was shocking. Social media users speculated that the formation represented an impending volcanic eruption or an earthquake, but experts quickly put out such fears.
Last week, SNS shared on its Facebook page its theory on what might have caused the crack. “Since so many people have commented and asked questions, we wanted to post an update with a little more information. An engineer from Riverton, WY came out to shed a little light on this giant crack in the earth. Apparently, a wet spring lubricated across a cap rock. Then, a small spring on either side caused the bottom to slide out. He estimated 15 to 20 million yards of movement. By range finder, an estimate is 750 yards long and about 50 yards wide,” the post read.
“A number of things trigger them, moisture in the subsurface which causes weakness in soil or geology, and any process that would weaken the bedrock or unstabilise it somehow,” Seth Wittke, Wyoming Geological Survey’s manager of groundwater and geologic hazards and mapping, told the Powell Tribune.