'Crack In The Earth' Opens Up In Foothills Of The Bighorn Mountains

"An awesome example of how our earth is not as stable as you might think."

Cancel the apocalypse.

A "crack in the Earth" really did open up in the foothills of Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains -- but it's not nearly as alarming as some of the reports on social media suggest.

Images of the crack, which County 10 says is about 10 miles south of the town of Ten Sleep, were first posted online by SNS Outfitters & Guides:

SNS reports that "the gash" is about 750 yards long and 50 yards wide.

Hunter Randy Becker also shared a series of images of the scene on Facebook:

While impressive, the crack is not a sign that the nearby Yellowstone caldera is about to erupt, nor is it "mysterious," as many of the posts on Facebook and Twitter have suggested.

Experts say it's just normal geology at work.

SNS said an engineer came to inspect the formation and figure out the cause.

"Apparently, a wet spring lubricated across a cap rock," the company wrote on Facebook. "Then, a small spring on either side caused the bottom to slide out. He estimated 15 to 20 million yards of movement."

One expert who hasn't been at the scene, but saw the images, explained that the crack could be caused by a number of factors.

"A number of things trigger them, moisture in the subsurface which causes weakness in soil or geology, and any process that would weaken the bedrock or unstabilize it somehow," Wyoming Geological Survey’s manager of groundwater and geologic hazards and mapping, Seth Wittke, told the Powell Tribune.

The survey's public information specialist Chamois Andersen added that "an early, wet spring and summer" may have also "had a lot to do with it."

"It is not uncommon to have slides like that," she said.

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