Here's what scientists think caused that giant fissure in Wyoming


A massive gash across the southern foothills of Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains has taken social media by storm.


This came after Richard Fink, a guide with Wyoming hunting company SNS Outfitters and Guides, first noticed a large fissure in a Wyoming ranch in early October, Candace Crew, a marketing specialist at Peak Outfitter Marketing told Tech Insider via Facebook messenger.

After an engineer, who's name and affiliation has not been released, took a closer look a few weeks later, he estimated that the newly-formed canyon measured a staggering 750 yards long by 50 yards wide. The company posted photos of the crack to its Facebook account the weekend of Oct. 24.

"We don't really know what caused it, or if it's done falling," Sy Gilliland, founder and owner of SNS Outfitter & Guides told Colorado's 9 News. "One of my hunters stumbled on it when he was hunting there Oct. 1."


The gash has sparked a flurry of speculation about what may be going on, including fears that this is the sign of the Apocalypse. But according to the engineer, this could just be normal geology at work.

Seth Wittke, the Wyoming Geological Survey's manager of groundwater and geologic hazards and mapping, told the Powell Tribune that the large-scale movement was likely due to a giant landslide.

The engineer who first sized up the fissure agrees, noting that multiple springs may have lubricated the sand and rock, causing a massive slide to the north.

The US Geological Survey says that there haven't been any earthquakes in the region, so this wasn't likely the earth cracking over a fault line.


Wyoming crack

SNS Outfitters and Guides

Fissure along the southern foothills of the Bighorn Mountains.

The engineer estimates that the land may have moved up to about 11,000 miles according to a post by SNS Outfitters and Guides.

"It truly is incredible to look at, a canyon that formed almost overnight," SNS Outfitter and Guides said in the post, "a mountainside that seems to have suddenly collapsed."