Odessa Catacombs

Odessa, Ukraine – One of the deepest, darkest places on earth. The Odessa Catacombs stretch an estimated 2,500km, significantly larger than those found below Paris (500km) or Rome (300km). During World War II the catacombs served as a hiding places for Soviet partisans, were they setup schools, kitchens, laundry, and even an indoor shooting range. Odessa-1-3

Today, a small portion of the tunnels remain open to the public as a museum dedicated to the partisan efforts. And while the museum section isn't hugely impressive, it gives a glimpse into a whole other world.

This is not the kind of place you want be exploring by yourself, or even with some local guide. Back in 2005, a group of local teens decided to spend New Year's Eve partying down in the tunnels. One of the party, a girl named Masha, never returned. At some point during the night she had wandered off, her body wasn't found for 2 years. They believe the poor girl spent three days lost in the cold, dark tunnels before finally dying of dehydration – fact, or just an urban legend?

Odessa-1-4

 

Odessa-1-5

A portion of the catacombs turned into a classroom.

Odessa-1-6

 

Odessa-1-7

The laundry, boil pants in barrel, rinse, hang.

Odessa-1-8

Early indoor shooting range.

Odessa-1-9

Headquarters.