The Strange Beauty of Salt Mines

Salt, an essential element for all animal life, is abundant here on Earth, but it still requires extraction from stone deposits or salty waters. The process of mining that salt can produce beautiful landscapes, including deep, stable caverns, multicolored pools of water, and geometric carvings. Some of these locations have even become tourist destinations, serving as concert halls, museums, and health spas touting the benefits of halotherapy. Collected here are images of salt mines across the world, above and below ground.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Lucas Jackson / Reuters

    The Finale of 'The Greatest Show on Earth'

    After a run of 146 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, known as “The Greatest Show on Earth,” has come to an end.

  • Pascal Pochard-Casabianca / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 5/13–5/19

    The world’s fastest shed in Wales, France welcomes a new president, a portrait of the late singer Chris Cornell on stage in Atlanta, a new eruption of Mount Sinabung, and much more.

  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

    Venezuela's Crisis Deepens, Protests Escalate

    Since April 1, daily anti-government  protests across Venezuela have frequently devolved into clashes with riot police, leaving thousands arrested, hundreds injured, and 43 dead.

  • Reza / Getty

    A Trip to the Dead Sea

    The Dead Sea, on the border between Israel and Jordan, is the lowest and saltiest body of water in the world—and experts say it is on course to dry out by 2050.

Join the Discussion