Welcome to the place of legend that is one of Russia's oldest and biggest known caves - Kungur Caves in the Ural Mountains in Ural, Russia. From incredible rock formations caused by ice to lush vegetation that decorates star studded cave openings the Kungur caves are truly a sight to behold. In local folk myths the two mile-long Kungur caves of the Ural mountains were feared as a place of the underworld and a home to demons. And the cave is not only famed for its haunting past - but is also regarded by scientists as having a near-unique micro climate of ice as well as temperate zones. Top Russian photographer, Victor Lyagushkin, 40, plunged into the depths of the 12,000 year-old network of underground tunnels and sensational rock formations. His mission was to record the work of a team of scientists studying pollution levels in the cave from nearby mines. In the middle ages the spooky maze-like tunnels were believed to have been a refuge for Russia's last pagans who fled Christianity and performed their ancient rituals underground. It is one of the largest gypsum caves in the country. Gypsum is a calcium-based mineral used for plaster of Paris. (Photo by Viktor Lyagushkin / Barcroft Med / Getty Images)
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