The Soreq Stalactite Cave in Israel
Soreq Cave, also known as Avshalom Cave or Stalactite Cave, is a 5,000 m2 cave on the western side of Mt. Ye’ela, in the Judean hills of Israel. Discovered by accident in May 1968 while quarrying with explosives, it is 83m (272 ft) long, 60m (197 ft) wide, and 15m (49ft) high.
Like other dripstone caverns (e.g., Jeita Grotto in Lebanon), Soreq Cave is teeming with stalactites and natural sculptures formed by hundreds of thousands of years of mineral-rich water drops slowly leaving behind a rock residue.
A lighting system has been put in place to help preserve the cave’s stalactites and stalagmites. Apparently the biggest threat is algae and if left unchecked, the magnificent formations — naturally amber, brown, rust and white — would turn into moss-covered green and black blobs. By using only a limited part of the colour spectrum of light and focusing on certain shades of orange, blue and green, scientists are betting the new system will eradicate the algal threat. [Source]
Opened to the public since the 1970s, the natural wonder attracts 200,000-400,000 visitors a year. For a 360 panoramic tour, check out 360cities.net.
– Los Angeles Times
– Nature and Parks Authority of Israel [PDF]
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