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    The real crystal palace: Inside one of the most beautiful caves in the world

    With crystal lined walls glittering deep beneath the earth's surface, these mesmerising scenes are taken from inside what could well be the world's most beautiful cave.

    The Mlynki is a rare crystal cave which lies in the Ternopil region of Ukraine and is known for the multi-coloured gypsum crystals which adorn its walls and twinkle in the light.

    These are the awesome images taken by intrepid photographer Oleg Grigorev who ventured into the remote cave to capture its beauty on camera.

    Twinkle: Two cavers look as if they are surrounded by fairy lights as beams from their torch bounce off the crystal particles of the Mlynki caves in the Ukraine

    Cave of wonders: A couple sit and talk on a ledge as they take a break from climbing and appreciate the dazzling beauty of their surroundings

    Armed with a camera and a small bag of supplies, Oleg, 33 joined a team of cavers to delve 45km long cave in Ukraine in March this year.

    Oleg used a rope to lower himself into the 40ft deep pit before crawling through a series of narrow passages.

    He spent three hours crawling through the labyrinth of passages and had to be careful to avoid touching the rare gypsum crystal lined walls, as the slightest contact could cause a type of fungus to grow, destroying the formations.

    Explorers: Cavers relax around a makeshift dinner table. Donning head torches and warm clothing they sip from steel mugs, their faces illuminated by two candle sticks in green bottles

    All that glisters: A torch lights up the bowels of this impressive Mlynki cave giving off a red and yellow beams that bounce off the walls illuminating thousands of crystal particles which appear to glitter against the backdrop of darkness

    Oleg spent the night in the cave and said he was enthralled by the cave's beauty, describing it as like seeing the dawn at Mars.

    He said: 'To get to the base where we were going to stay for the night we had to crawl for hours.

    'It was really hard, we were grinding the sand and dust with our teeth. There were deep holes, big halls , galleries, bats, dust, beautiful crystals on our way. And we were thirsty.

    Tunnel of light: This awesome shot captured by photogapher Oleg Grigoriev shows on a climber resting on a cave's ledge and taking in the beauty of his bewitching surroundings

    Ascent: As this caver concentrates on making his way up the wall of one of the caves the light from his headtorch catches lumps of crystal making them appear white

    'But it was worth it. It's really hard to describe my first impressions of the cave and impossible to put the beauty of the cave into words.

    'It's impossible to take a photo that does the cave justice, you need to see the cave in person to realise just how beautiful it is.

    'In candle light the crystals are as colourful as a rainbow, I felt like I was seeing a sunrise on Mars.

    'When I got out of the cave I was absolutely exhausted but It was such an amazing experience I know I'll be back.'

    Star-gazing: Photographer Oleg Grigoriev ventured into the remote caves in the Ukraine to take these incredible shots. This amazing image, taken from the cave's floor, doesn't look dissimilar to a starry night

    Enchanting: Strategically placed torches in the cave's natural crevasses have a stunning effect on the walls, bringing out shades of yellow, pink, purple and green

    ...being a human...



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