Stalagmites in cave found in Lower Galilee, Israel. Stalagmites in cave found in Lower Galilee, Israel. The rare discovery of a stalactite cave was described as “exciting and moving." (Photo: Shai Koren)

Go inside a rare stalactite cave that's not open to the public

Find out why scientists are keeping the location of the recently discovered cave secret.

An "exciting and moving" discovery is how speleologists (scientists who study caves) this week described a stalactite cave found in Israel's Lower Galilee region.

Stalactites hang from the roof of caves and are formed by the slow dripping and depositing of material – often limestone – over many thousands of years. Stalagmites, which were also found in the cave, are similar but rise from the floor.

The cave, which is only 26 feet by 13 feet in size, is said to contain a number of rare coral reef caverns and rock formations in the form of elephant ears.

Yinon Shivtiel, a member of the Israeli Cave Research Center, said "the cave is still active and the stalactite is dripping, which we hope will help its preservation,” while adding that research will continue into why the cave has such a “relatively rare deposit of coral reef caverns."

Authorities said because of the delicate nature of the cave, it won't be open to the public for some time – in fact, the exact location isn't even being disclosed at the moment.

This isn't the first stalactite cave to be uncovered in Israel. In fact, one of the foremost stalactite caves in the world can be found near Jerusalem. The Sorek Cave stretches over 50,000 square feet, and scientists believe some of the rocks therein date back at least 300,000 years.


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