The Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve (also called Soreq Cave) is dedicated to the memory of Avshalom Shoham. The 82-meter-long, 60-meter-wide cave is on the western slopes of the Judean Hills outside the city of Beit Shemesh. It was discovered accidentally by workers blasting at a nearby quarry. Although the Soreq Cave is relatively small, the variety of its formations rivals that seen in much larger stalactite caves. Some of the stalactites are 300 thousand years old, and scientists use them to study climactic changes that have transpired in this area from the time of their formation until the present. Although some stalactites are even older, they cannot be precisely dated using the instruments currently available.
The stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the cave are up to four meters long and on occasion meet up with stalagmites growing from the floor. Stalactites range in diameter from a few millimeters to a few meters. Some look like everyday objects - shelves, sheets of cloth, branches, and coral - and others have shapes never before seen. A number of the stalactites and stalagmites are still active.
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