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Mysterious Fissure Splits Ground in Mexico

Aug 23, 2014 10:47 PM EDT

A Massive crack tore through more than a half-mile of ground in northern Mexico, according to numerous local reports.  Now experts are struggling to explain what caused it and if it is a threat to public safety.

The mysterious trench in question is up-to nearly 16 feet across at its thickets, and stretches for nearly half a mile according to Sky News, one of the first to report this unusual geological event.

Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Emergency Management released footage taken by a drone flying over the perplexing crack while motorists remained stopped in their cars on either side of fissured roads as early as Wednesday. It is unclear when the earth was first broken, but residents of northern Mexico reported discovering the fissure earlier this week.

Some local officials and experts alike are blaming seismic activity for the phenomenon, with a 5.0 magnitude earthquake occurring only earlier this month.

However, not everyone is convinced. According to a number of local reports, recent heavy rainfall may have also caused the fissure by condensing and shifting the sub-terrain.

Regardless of the cause, some experts don't believe that the fissure is a sign of an encroaching threat to local populations.

"It's definitely not a cause for alarm for the population," Martin Moreno, the head of National Autonomous University of Mexico's Regional Station, told newspaper Excelsior. "It's more something sensationalist and people like to encourage that sort of thing."

And the fissure has indeed gotten a lot of attention. The drone footage mentioned earlier, uploaded by YouTube user "dutchsinde" has earned nearly 300,000 views since first being uploaded a mere three days ago.

The video has earned a lot of questions, one of the main being, "how it is that the ground on either side of the fissure appears level?" If it were a seismic fault, traditionally one side would be higher than the other.

However, Moreno told Excelsior that he does not think it would be appropriate to blame an earthquake for the massive crack, adding  that the "two levels are still in place, one side isn't raised and the other hasn't sunk either."

This causes many to believe that the ground water theory may be more acceptable, in a region of the world where water scarcity and resulting  loose soil is a growing problem.

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