A vivid spectacle of colorful minerals is found 200 m (650 ft) under the surface of the industrial city of Yekaterinburg. The cave looks like it has been painted by a surrealist, however the psychedelic pattern is a naturally occurring phenomenon. It is a result of layers of carnallite, that decorates the walls of the mines’ corridors for miles.
These deposits date back to the Permian period, ≈280 million years ago, when an entire sea dried up, leaving behind a salty residue of evaporate minerals in its place. Over the years, these became buried and forgotten until salt was mined in Russia (starting in the 2nd millennia BC).
A small part of the mine is still in use, but most of the tunnels are now abandoned and a visit to see this stunning location is only possible with a special government permit. Photographer Mikhail Mishainik managed to get his way into the mines, where he reportedly spent over 20 hours picturing these psychedelic sights to share them with the world.