Is this the most magical cave in the world? The chambers carved through Kamchatka's glaciers by volcano-fed hot springs
These incredible pictures were taken by photographers on expedition in the eastern Siberian peninsula
The caves have been carved into glacial ice by a hot spring gushing from the regions Mutnovsky volcano
Local guide Denis Budkov says he came across them by chance - and may not be able to find them again
Treasures Of The Dwarfs: This breathtaking picture taken by Russian photographer Natalia Balentsova of a cave carved out of the ice in Kamchatka by a hot spring near the Mutnovsky volcano won the 2012 Russian Wild Nature competition
Natural wonder: The cave has been carved out of the glacier by an underground river that is sourced in a hot spring gushing from the Mutnovsky volcano itself
Entrance to the underworld: The expedition members lit flares in the cave to highlight the undulating erosion caused by the warm water as it flows through
With multicoloured lights gently glowing from a translucent ceiling, a stream rippling through rocks beneath and a bright light in the distance, this tunnel looks like a passage to fairytale world.
But this breathtaking photograph was taken in cave carved out of the living rock and ice of this world - albeit on a remote fringe little visited by outsiders.
These incredible pictures show ice caves carved by volcano-fed hot springs through the glaciers of Kamchatka.
They were captured by local guide and photographer Denis Budkov, Natalia Balentsova, a photographer from Chelyabinsk, and others on the peninsula on the eastern edge of Russia's vast Siberian land mass.
The intrepid snappers came across the magical caves by chance while on expedition near the Mutnovsky volcano, some 45 miles south of the regional capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
The incredible lights shining purple, blue, green and yellow are no computer trickery - they are the result of sunlight streaming through the glacial ice into the hidden world below.
The cave was carved out of the glacier by an underground river that is sourced in a hot spring gushing from the Mutnovsky volcano itself.
Mr Budkov told the Siberian Times: 'Mutnovsky volcano is the heart of Kamchatka.
'This heart is literally beating and you can feel it while the earth is slightly moving under your feet'.
He added: 'We found the cave by chance in September 2012. It was not far away from a volcanologists' hut.
'I was taking some photographers for a tour and we saw a spring running from under the glacier. We came closer and saw that there was a hole so we went into this extraordinary cave.'
Ms Balentsova spent several hours inside working on photographs to record the incredible subterranean world they found themselves inside.
One her pictures - dubbed Treasures Of The Dwarfs - won the Russian Wild Nature competition last year.
She said: 'Outside, the glacier was very dirty and grey. But inside, everything was different.
'The snow was melting, and the light passed through the thin walls, reflecting surprisingly bright colours.'
The walls and ceiling of the frozen world are made up of layers of compacted snow, with the river softly gurgling through a long chamber illuminated by light glinting through windows made of ice,
'It's hard to find such places without a guide', said Budkov. 'Even me, being an experienced guide, didn't know about this cave as it is off the usual routes I normally take.
'Plus at the moment, it is impossible to get there as we have a metre and a half of snow covering everything.
'I'm not sure if it will even melt during the summer. So maybe the people who want to see the cave will have to wait until next year'.