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Farmer Gary Dalton of Circleville, Utah, Finds Mysterious Crater in His Pond That Baffles Geologists

September 4, 2014

Gary Dalton, a farmer from Circleville, Utah, has found a huge crater in an irrigation pond on his property, and the concentric circles have confounded geologists.

There were several theories about what could have created the holes, the largest of which is about 25 feet in diameter, KLS.com reported:
- A natural spring, pushing up from under the pond after recent rains.
- A pipeline leak.
- Methane gas creeping out from decaying organic material under the pond.
- An earthquake.

Adding more intrigue to the mystery, Dalton told KLS.com that he saw meteor streaking across the sky a few weeks ago. He described the crater as "Martian art."

Bill Lund, lead scientist with the Utah Geological Survey, who investigated the crater, debunked those theories.

(MORE: Decade-Long 'Megadrought' Possible for Southwestern U.S.)

Lund told KLS.com that the crater most likely resulted from repeated draining and refilling of the pond. He said the phenomenon is called collapsible soils, where soil collapses under the weight of water, creating what resembles an eruption.

Still, Lund says he has never seen anything like it and was a little tentative. “There are still some unanswered questions here," he said.

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