Earlier this week, NASA researchers posted satellite images of Russia on their website. The photos show the land on both sides of the Markha River rippled with alternating dark and light stripes; experts cannot explain why the earth has these shapes.
This region of the Central Siberian Plateau is about 90% of the year covered by permafrost, even if it occasionally defrosts for short periods of time. Areas of land that freeze, thaw and freeze continuously take on strange circular designs; the effect occurs when soils and stones are naturally selected during the freeze-thaw cycle.
Other examples of these lands (such as those of Norway), however, they tend to be much smaller in size compared to the stripes seen in Siberia. Another explanation that might make sense according to US Geological Survey geologist Thomas Crafford could be soil erosion.
Similar patterns occur when snowmelt or rain drips downhill, splintering bits of sedimentary rock. The darker stripes represent the steepest areas, while the lighter stripes indicate the flatter areas. This sort of sedimentary stratification would stand out more in winter.
One thing is certain: until the area is properly studied, nothing can be said with certainty.