Photographer's Note

In Pyatigorsk, the southern slope of Mount Mashuk has a 20 m deep sinkhole Proval (ПРОВАЛ), at the bottom of which there is a small lake. In the picture, you see the entrance into the tunnel (around 20 m long) going to the lake.

As you can see, men and children walk directly to the entrance, while women first come to the statue of the most favorite negative personage of Soviet humoristic literature Ostap Bender. He first appeared in the novel ”The Twelve Chairs” written by Soviet authors Ilya Ilf and Yevgeniy Petrov.

According to the plot of the novel, Ostap and his accomplice Kisa Vorobyaninov were chasing after jewels hidden in one of 12 chairs scattered about Russia. They needed a lot of money for this criminal project. In Pyatigorsk, for earning money, Bender organized selling tickets for visiting Proval by tourists. Now the admission to this underground lake is completely free, as it always really was.

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GPS coordinates: 44.046389 Lat, 43.099390 Long, 618 m

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Additional Photos by Sergiy Lushpenko (s_lush) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1962 W: 47 N: 4467] (16602)
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