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The Orda cave: a Russian wonder of the Ural Mountains

Known as one of the biggest gypsum caves worldwide, as well as the longest one in Russia, the Orda cave is one of the most fascinating European natural wonders. Although it was recently discovered, a few decades ago, its worldwide popularity increased extremely rapidly, as it is one of the few gypsum caves around the globe. Hidden somewhere in the Ural Mountains, a part of the cave is underwater, while the other one can be seen through one of the many entrances available.

As one enters the cave, the main aspect that can be observed is the light gypsum walls with unique, crystal-like shapes. One interesting aspect regarding these natural formations is that they constantly change over time, as gypsum can be easily modified by natural factors such as water and air. Therefore, it was concluded that the Orda cave has a very different aspect than it used to have decades ago. Moreover, the rocks are over 300 million years old and at the time, the Ural Mountains were almost entirely covered by water.

Nowadays, only a part of the 5 km length cave is covered in clean, cold water, which makes it extremely easy for it to be explored by diving enthusiasts. The water is so calm and crystal clear that it provides people with a visibility of over 46 meters. The temperature of −23 °C of the cave might be its only disadvantage, as it makes it harder for researchers or divers to spend time exploring this natural wonder.
What makes this place even more interesting is a legend regarding The Lady of the Cave, a spirit embodied in a magical, surreal form that protects the Orda cave. Whether the story is true or false, this Russian place well hidden in the mountains provides visitors with an impressive experience.

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Moscow passage
Moscow passage

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Main Passage
Main Passage

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Chelyabinsk passage
Chelyabinsk passage

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Lady of Orda Cave
Lady of Orda Cave
Location: Orda, Perm Krai
Location: Orda, Perm Krai

Photos by Viktor Lyagushkin/Flickr ordacave.ru

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  1. Ok, so obviously there’s an error with claim that the temperature is -23 inside. For starters, that water inside would be completely frozen up. Also, there’s no way anyone would be able to swim inside without a dry suit.

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