Salt is abundant 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. Today's photo essay looks at the strange beauty of salt mines. (Credit: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters)

PHOTOS: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/04/the-strange-beauty-of-salt-mines/100492/