A NASA satellite orbiting the Earth has detected something that baffled scientists in the cold Arctic regions of Siberia, Russia. Near the Markha River in Siberia, there are ripples on the ground that scientists do not fully understand. NASA recently published new images of alien landscapes on its Earth Observatory site, captured by the Landsat 8 satellite over the course of several years.
The Pictures The land on both sides of the river is alternately wavy, with dark and light streaks. The individual effect appears in all four seasons but is most pronounced during the winter when snow-white gives more contrast with the pattern. NASA is not completely sure what causes this pattern on Siberian soil.
One possible explanation relates to freezing temperatures in a region that spends 90 percent of the year covered by permafrost that sometimes thaws for short periods. NASA says that the Earth that is constantly freezing, thawing and freezing again can take on strange circular or striped designs called a patterned earth. The effect results from the natural tendency of the stones to sort themselves during the freeze-thaw cycle.
NASA admits that other examples of engraved Earth tend to be much smaller in size than what we see in Siberia. Another possible explanation for the strange patterns is surface erosion. Geologist Thomas Crawford, of the United States Geological Survey, told NASA that the lines resemble a pattern in sedimentary rocks known as cake layer geology.
These patterns occur when snow melts or rain flows down the slopes, cutting bits of sedimentary rock into piles. This process can build sheets of sediment that look like slices of cake toppings. Crawford says that the darker lines represent deeper areas, and the lighter lines represent flat areas. The cause of the strange streaks will remain a mystery until the site can be closely studied.