One of the most famous health resorts of the Caucasus is the Pyatigorsky Crevice. The crevice is situated on the South mountainside of the Mashuk Mountain, east of the town of Pyatigorsk. The narrow horizontal tunnel, which is 43.8 meters long, leads in the depths of the mountain. There is a big underground cave in the end of the tunnel. In the south-east of the cave there is a charming small lake. The blue-green water of the lake illuminated with lighting of the sky that can be seen through the tunnel fills the cave with amazing soft blue color. The crack located at the bottom supplies the lake with mineral water. The hot healing water of the lake, whose temperature runs up to 40 degrees Celsius helps to cure different diseases.
The Pyatigorsky Crevice has been a popular health resort since olden times. Scientists suppose that there was a Scythian site in the town of Pyatigorsk. Scythian tombs were found in the caves of the Mashuk Mountain. It proves the fact that nomads in ancient times knew about the healing properties of hot springs. Pushkin, Lermontov and Leo Tolstoy visited the Pyatigorsky Crevice. In Lermontov's time, thrill seekers came down into the cave through the tunnel with the means of a rope and a basket to swam in the underground lake.
Natives of this region feared the Pyatigorsky Crevice. They thought that a horrible winged, fire-breathing dragon lived in the depths of the Mashuk Mountain. By night the dragon flew out of the cave and hunted for people. Some of them the dragon carried into the cave, the others were devoured as soon as the dragon caught them. It's possible that steam from the hot lake that rose through the tunnel resembled the dragon breathing fire. The locals only stopped believing in the existence of the dragon in 1858, when tunneling broke through to the hot underground lake.