Yekaterinburg is the industrial and cultural center of Ural Federal District, Russia. Its sprawling, rich cultural metropolis has been hiding a beautiful geologic formation. A couple hundred feet below the city is a mine rich in the mineral carnallite, giving the caves an insane psychedelic collision of colors. Carnallite is an active ingredient for plant fertilizer and is normally a yellowish red color. Most of the mine is abandoned but Mikhail Mishainik, photographer and spelunking enthusiast, and his friends explored the caves and corridors now abandoned and forgotten. What he found was astonishingly beautiful.
After exploring for twenty some hours and spending the night on a couple of occasions, Mishainik found superb content for photos. While typically earth toned, the carnallite in these caves has taken on all the possible variations of colors, from vibrant reds, stark white, fluorescent oranges, emerald greens and rusty purples.
“It is easy to get lost as many of the passageways look the same, we navigate our way around very carefully.Many people know about the mines but it is very difficult to access them if you don’t have an official permit,” Mikhail said. “We take our safety very seriously, but of course there are always dangers. There is the possibility of a gas leak from chemicals such as methane, hydrogen sulphide carbon dioxide as well the risk of a landslide. The danger element is part of the fun and it’s a special feeling being somewhere very few people have seen.”
The Russian explorer has other adventures that he has graciously documented on his website. The Internet and the Spirit Science crew were blown away the naturally psychedelic formations. Its a great reminder have how grand the world we live in is.