The shack was a real mess. Weeds were starting to grow through the cracks and the decay damage on the wood was really noticeable. There was no door, so anyone could make their way inside the small cabin. She got in, and that’s when she saw a huge hole in the middle. Why would a precarious shed like this have a hidden tunnel? She hung her camera strap on her shoulder and reached for the damp stairs. But she could’ve never predicted she’d find something like this.
Blogger Lana Sator is a thrill-seeking adventurer from Russia who loves spending every waking moment outdoors, with a camera strapped over her shoulder. She loves to snap photos that capture the peace and quiet of being surrounded by nature. So when a friend suggested a lead in the middle of a forest, she was all in. Even though Lana was quite an explorer, she never expected she’d stumble into something like this.
She grabbed her camera equipment and made her way to the Republic of Karelia, which is located on the border with Finland. She was planning on meeting her friend in order to check out the deserted cabin. They were supposed to only make a quick stop, but when she saw the inside, curiosity started to kick in. She looked down, and screamed, “Hello?” which echoed deep inside the hole. No one answered. Lana was dying to know what was hiding underneath.
Lana was quite the adventurer, and she had pretty much seen it all. She’d made her way inside a flooded power plant, an abandoned Soviet rocket factory located in Moscow, and even a neglected iron foundry. Getting inside was never easy, but the girl always figured out a way to break in. Now she was planning to make her way inside this hidden underground cave. But venturing into complete darkness would be no easy task, and she never imagined she’d have so many obstacles.
She started descending through the stairs in complete darkness. Every step of the way, you could hear the damp wood creaking. Suddenly, the air started feeling thicker, and heavier. She held really tight to the ladder, not knowing what she was getting herself into. She could feel the hairs on her arms standing. The brightness from above was starting to dim down. She kept going until she finally felt her feet hitting solid ground. Everything was so quiet, she could only hear herself breathe. She searched for her flashlight, then suddenly she turned it on.
Being quite an explorer, Lana had been in many tunnels in the past, and each and every one of them was as dark as the next one. The thrill of discovering something new quickly faded away. Now she was starting to worry. Who built this underground world? And why would anyone abandon it? She was trying to get a clearer view, when suddenly, she heard a noise.
She aimed her flashlight towards the direction of the noise, which was getting louder. She was ready to fight any creature that may be living inside the hole. She took a few steps back when suddenly, the screeching began. That’s when she noticed she was crushing a rat’s tail on the floor. It was twisting and scrambling like crazy. She stepped away and let the little guy make its way down a tunnel. “He’s as good a guide as any,” she thought, before following him.
The Russian blogger didn’t have anything she could use to leave a trail towards the exit. Every time she stepped forward, the temperature got colder and colder. She made her way through broken tracks, and even saw tools spread on the edges. Water dripped through the unstable wooden frames. Now she was starting to think that perhaps, she should just go back and call it quits. But she wasn’t about to live a life of “what ifs?” She made it a point to try to memorize every turn. All of a sudden, she found something that was worrying.
As she fought her way in, she noticed there were some shards of ice that looked like stalactites. That’s when she slipped and noticed that the floor was completely frozen. It would’ve made for an excellent skating rink. Lana wasn’t afraid of being in tiny claustrophobic spaces, and ice just wasn’t something that worried her one bit. But that was about to change.
Finally, the blogger walked into a large open space that was filled with tracks, tools, machinery, and carts. It finally dawned on her: she was inside an abandoned mine! She had finally solved the mystery! That huge open area must’ve been the center of operations of the mine. Now that she figured out what was hiding inside the shed, she would have to make her way back, but would she?
Lana knew how to keep herself safe and avoid making a wrong move inside any of the life-threatening tunnels. She started to snap photos of her new findings. The flash allowed her to capture a lot more than what she could see with her eyes. There were many objects scattered around, like hammers, helmets, wheelbarrows, chisels, shovels, and pickaxes. But why would anyone abandon this place, just like that?
Lana realized that perhaps, the leaks caused everyone to evacuate the mine. As time went by, water caused the soil to become really heavy, which put a lot of stress on the wooden frames. The tunnel collapsed, eventually, which lead to several dead ends. Some ended up remaining upright, but during the harsh winter months, the water froze, which turned it into a frozen bunker. Now, Lana needed to go back.
Lana was facing a major problem now. Every tunnel looked exactly the same! Which one is the one she took? She aimed her light towards the other paths, but she wasn’t sure which one to take! Her heart was going a mile a minute. She took a deep breath. She just needed to get a hold on herself, and gather her thoughts. She closed her eyes, and opened them again.
She got a hold of herself and stopped herself from panicking. She used all the photos she had taken as she made her way through the tunnels. But this was no easy task. She spent a lot of time trying to figure out the path, but eventually, she saw the stairs and made her way up. Her mind swarmed with different questions still.
Once Lana shared her photos with her online followers, her story went viral. Many folks wondered what purpose did the mines served. People started to suggest that miners were perhaps trying to look for coal, vanadium, iron or even diamonds, but one thing’s for sure. Her followers think she’s a total badass for descending into total darkness all by herself. Lana is such an adventurer at heart that she’d go to any lengths for a great discovery.