Israeli researchers are exploring a fascinating cave uncovered by chance in the Galilee.
Israeli researchers have discovered a “spectacular and unique” stalactite cave thousands of years old in the lower Galilee.
The cave includes a great diversity of coral caves, stalactites, stalagmites and unique formations called “Elephant Ears.”
Shai Koren, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s (NPA) regional director for the Lower Galilee, stated: “This is a thrilling and exciting discovery, but unfortunately at this point we cannot open it to the public due to the cave’s characteristics and its small size.”
The initial information was collected by the Quarry Rehabilitation Fund, which was conducting development work in the area, and then transferred it to the NPA experts.
The exact location of the cave has not been disclosed because entry is forbidden for now, Koren said.
The stalactites and stalagmites are protected by Israeli law as Protected Natural Values and must not be damaged.
Dr. Yinon Shivtiel of the Safed College Cave Research Center explained that the stalactites and stalagmites are a “karstic” phenomena, meaning they are the result of a prolonged process of the erosion of limestone. The “karstic” activities are what cause the limestones to take the form of flower buds with petals, resembling corals.
“In the coming days we will continue to engage in morphological and geological documentation, mapping and investigation of the cave, and prepare a plan for conservation of the findings,” said Shivtiel.
“As part of our investigation, we will also try and understand why this particular cave is home to relatively rare coral caves,” he concluded.
By: By Ilana Messika/TPS