Massive crack opens up in Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains

A spokesperson with the Wyoming State Geological Survey, says the crack appears to be the aftermath of a landslide.
By Brooks Hays   |   Updated Nov. 2, 2015 at 11:26 AM

TEN SLEEP, Wyo., Nov. 2 (UPI) -- A mysterious crack has opened up on a Wyoming ranch in the Bighorn Mountains. No one saw it begin. The crack is now 165 feet wide and stretches more than six football fields.

Sy Gilliland, owner of a local hunting guide service, told local news station KUSA one his hunters first noticed the crack in early October. The feature is located roughly 40 miles south of Ten Sleep, Wyoming, a town of just a few hundred.

"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."

While some locals are referring to the phenomenon as "the crack," others are calling it "the gash."

Though there's yet to be an official investigation into the crack, Chamois Andersen, a spokesperson with the Wyoming State Geological Survey, says the crack appears to be the aftermath of a landslide.

Andersen says geologists with the state agency have seen the pictures and heard the anecdotal evidence. She said such a feature, while dramatic, is not uncommon.

"It appears this may be due to groundwater has created weakness in what is already a saturated hillside," she told local station CBS4. "Further saturation like a wet spring and summer leads to more weakness, then the hillside shifted and caused a landslide with an associated large crack."

Uncommon or not, the gap has had quite an effect on those that come across it.

"I was stunned," said hunter Randy Becker. "The magnitude of this shift in earth is dramatic. It blows you away to see it."

Andersen advised locals not to go near the crack, is it appears to be an active landslide.

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