Israel Has the World’s Longest Salt Cave
In the 1980’s at Mt. Sedom in the Dead Sea area, Malham Cave was discovered. Initial explorations of this salt cave began with “tape measures and compasses, now we have laser technology that beams measurements right to our iPhones.” Using this technology led to the discovery of the enormity of the cave’s size. At 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) it becomes a record breaking, double digit length.
The exploration involved Hebrew University’s Cave Research Center, the Israel Cave Explorer’s Club, and Bulgaria’s Sofia Speleo Club, in addition to 80 cavers from 9 countries. This international expedition completed the process of mapping the cave.
Their task involved hard work. Efraim Cohen, a member of the Hebrew University’s research team said, “We cavers worked 10-hour days underground, crawling through icy salt channels, narrowly avoiding salt stalactites and jaw dropping salt crystals. Down there it felt like another planet.”
Mt. Sedom, where Malham Cave is located, takes its name from the biblical city of Sodom, and the account that as Lot and his family left Sodom his wife became a pillar of salt after she looked back at Sodom.
Geologically, Malham Salt Cave is a river cave. “Water from a surface stream flowed underground and dissolved the salt, creating caves- a process that is still going on when there is a heavy rain over Mount Sedom about once a year.” Malham Cave is estimated to be about 7,000 years old, and has over 100 different salt caves inside, “the longest of which is 5,685 meters (18,652 feet).” This makes Malham Cave “the world’s first salt cave to reach a length of double-digits.”
Genesis 14:3 first mentions the Salt Sea, or the Dead Sea. This discovery of the Malhan Cave near the Dead Sea shows the wonderful work of nature at this location, still going on 7,000 years later.
Source: Jerusalem Post, Mayaan Jaffe-Hoffman