Have you ever been in complete darkness? Sure you might think you have been when you've been in a room with lights out, or maybe blindfolded, but was it truly black?

Even on a cloudy,  dark moonless night, there still is some ambient light. Your eyes can still adjust and you normally can make out shapes, or at least see something. What happens when you can't see anything?

If you had asked me before visiting this place, I would have been sure that I've been in complete darkness before. When I experienced it I quickly realized it was like nothing else I've ever been through.

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Where is this place? Take a tour on the Tower-Soudan Underground Mine.

This mine is located in Northern Minnesota, and they offer tours from the spring to the fall, and even offer some off-season tours for groups.

The mine tour is part of the Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park. Visitors can travel 2,341 feet down into the earth. You ride in a tight mine shaft elevator for 3 minutes until you reach the 27th level.

WCCO - CBS MINNESOTA YOUTUBE
WCCO - CBS MINNESOTA YOUTUBE
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From there you hop on a train and make your way to the Montana Stope, which was the last working area of the mine.

WCCO - CBS Minnesota YouTube
WCCO - CBS Minnesota YouTube
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The mine ran from 1882-1962 and was responsible for some of the richest iron ore in the region. It became a state park in 1965 after it was closed for several years.

There's a portion of the tour where they show you what conditions were like in the mine for these workers. Early on workers relied on candlelight. No sun obviously makes it down to a half-mile into the earth, so the only light is what you bring with you.

WCCO - CBS Minnesota YouTube
WCCO - CBS Minnesota YouTube
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The mine tour guides show you what it's like to be in complete darkness. For many people, this is the first and maybe the only time you'll experience it. And weird things start to happen.

They turn the lights off in the Montana Stope for a minute or so and they tell you that you may start seeing things.

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In complete darkness, your brain starts to play tricks on you. I saw colors and flashes that weren't there. It's a phenomenon called phosphene. You could see light zips and zags, or circles or swirls. But, none of that is there. Your brain doesn't know what to do!

The mine is open again starting this spring after a temporary closure. You can learn a lot of really cool history at the mine and it's something you'll never forget. It's pretty reasonably priced too. Adult tickets for the 90-minute tour are only $15. Youth tickets are $10, and kids under 5 are free.

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Gallery Credit: Abby Monteil