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When the rain sculptures in stone

Among the stalagmites, stalactites, cave corals and other magnificent formations created by nature at the Stalactites Cave
by: Israel Traveler   |   24.03.2011
It all started with a routine controlled explosion at a quarry in the Judean Mountains, about three kilometers East of Beit Shemesh. The quarry workers discovered an opening in the mountain and upon entering it they were met with a surprising sight: a magnificent Stalactites Cave with stalagmites and stalactites in spectacular formations. The discovery of the cave was kept a secret for a few months due to the delicate nature of the place and the fear that too many visitors will destroy it. Only after being made ready for visitors, the cave was opened to the public. Since then, more than 40 years have passed and the place is very popular, and with a reason. This cave, also known as Avshalom Cave or Soreq Cave, is admittedly not as big as others of its kind in the world- its length is about 90 meters and its width is about 70 meters- but it is considered especially beautiful.
This is a carstic cave, created as a result of the dissolving of chalk and dolomite rocks due to rainfall. This cave features ancient stalagmites and stalactites, some of them are over 300,000 years old, and through them scientists are examining the changes in climate in the area since then and until today. The stalactites coming down from the ceiling vary in size. Some of them are only a few millimeters wide and others are a few meters wide. And their length varies too, as some get to be four meters long. Going down into the cave, on 150 steps, takes about ten minutes. The tour is accompanied by a guide who explains about the processes which created this cave and presents the various sculptures of nature. Thus one goes by lions, princes, knights, cauliflowers, whipped cream cakes and many more sculpture made by nature. This is a feast for the imagination and children will also enjoy every moment in this fascinating, dark and enchanting kingdom.
The cave maintains a fixed level of heat and humidity of 22-23 C and it has more than 90 percent humidity. Many areas in the cave are still active and the stalagmites and stalactites in them are still growing in nature’s slow pace. Nature is patient and its patience pays, as one can see here.
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