Boaz Langford, a member of Hebrew UniversityÕs Cave Research Center and head of the 2019 Malham Cave Mapping stands next to salt stalactites inside the Malham Cave, which Israeli researchers say is the world’s longest salt cave, in Mount Sodom near the Dead Sea, Israel March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Nir Elias
MOUNT SODOM, Israel (Reuters) – Israeli researchers say they have discovered the world’s longest salt cave near the desert site where, according to the Bible, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.
The 10-km (6-mile)-long warren of underground passages and chambers in Mount Sodom, overlooking the Dead Sea, was mapped out over two years by cavers from nine countries led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
During one dinner break in the Malham Cave, said the university’s Boaz Langford, the explorers felt their pasta lacked seasoning: “So we just broke some salt off one of the rocks and used that”.
Malham has taken a 13-year record held by the Cave of the Three Nudes, a 6,850 meter (4 mile)-long salt cave in Iran, the researchers said. Sluiced by rain run-off that dissolves its surfaces, Malham will lengthen further over time, they added.
Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alexandra Hudson