Israel’s secret underground world: The Malham Salt Cave, located in Mount Sodom, at the southern tip of Israel’s Dead Sea is the world’s longest salt cave system. The cavern extends over 10km underground and is even more extensive than Iran’s Namakdan Qeshm Island salt cave 3N (Three Nudes) which measures only 6,580 meters. The Malham cave’s main opening is located close to a salt pillar popular with tourists named “Lot’s wife”.
Cave Research Center (CRC)
The CRC is a branch of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Malham Salt Cave
Malham Salt Cave was initially discovered by the CRC back in the 1980’s. Later, tens of CRC expeditions surveyed Mount Sedom and found more than 100 different salt caves inside, the longest of which measured 5,685 meters. Subsequent carbon-14 tests dated the cave as 7,000 years old, give or take, and successive rainstorms created new passages for the cavers to explore. When the international expedition by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Cave Research Center (CRC), Israel Cave Explorers Club, and Bulgaria’s Sofia Speleo Club, along with 80 cavers from nine countries) returned to Malham in 2018 and 2019, their surveys discovered the cave’s record-breaking, double-digit length.
Israel Cave Explorers Club
Israel underground activity has started already in the prehistorical ages. But back then and even much later the activity was limited to a very functional usage such as for residence or refuge. Documented cave research has started only in the 18th and 19th century mostly in the archeological aspect and later in the 20th century on many other aspects. The Israel Cave Explorers Club has taken upon itself to carry on the task of cave exploration on all aspects.
The ICEC adopted very strict ethics that sees the man who visits the cave as a guest that must respect his hosts. There are limited visits in sensitive caves by keeping their location in secret and limiting our visits to the minimum required to explore the cave.
On the technical side the ICEC has established a standard for 3 levels – Cave explorer 1,2 and 3. Projects include ongoing explorations, lectures, surveys, cave mapping, archeological excavations, guided tours in caves, activities with speleologists form around the world, both in Israel and abroad.