About 30 meters below the Russian city of Ekaterinburg is an abandoned salt mine of indescribable psychedelic beauty. Whole caves and corridors are covered with astonishing patterns caused by the natural swirling of carnallite and layers of rock. Carnallite, which consists of potassium chloride and magnesium hexahydrate, is a powerful fertilizer for plants. It is most often red-yellowish, but can also be blue, purple, or even colorless.
Only a small part of the mine is still mined today, leaving miles of these hypnotic tunnels abandoned beneath the surface that are only accessible with government permission. This, however, did not stop the photographer and spelunker, Mikhail Mishainik, and his friends from exploring the spectacular corridors under the industrial city. “The mines are huge and spread out over several kilometers wide and long, only one tunnel can be more than 7 kilometers long,” Mikhail said. It is difficult to describe how you feel so far, you lose the notion of time and the air is very dry, you are always thirsty. The air is filled with small particles of salt and if you do not have lit torches, you end up in complete darkness. “
The psychedelic salt mine in Russia:
“It is easy to get lost in so many passages with the same aspect, we moved forward with a lot of attention.
“We take safety very seriously, but of course there are always dangers. There is the possibility of a gas leak from chemicals such as methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and also the risk of a landslide. The element of danger is part of the fun and it’s a special feeling to be somewhere that very few people have seen.