Thursday, June 01, 2006

the Age of Ayalon

I always believed a deep, habitable, cave ecosystem was possible. You just gotta read this

The cave, which has been dubbed the Ayalon Cave, is “unique in the world,” said Prof. Amos Frumkin of the Hebrew University Department of Geography. This is due mainly to its isolation from the outside world, since the cave’s surface is situated under a layer of chalk that is impenetrable to water. The cave, with its branches, extends over some 2½ kilometers, making it Israel’s second largest limestone cave. It is to remain closed to the public to permit further scientific research.
Okay, so its not 6 miles down & there's no Uru city, but it sounds pretty neat to me. I enjoyed these pics of the Ayalon/Ramle area too. (click 1st image. 2nd image links to another article on the same subject.)




The underground cave includes an underground lake, in which the crustaceans were found. The lake is part of the Yarkon-Taninim aquifer, one of Israel’s two aquifers, yet is different in temperature and chemical composition from the main waters of the aquifer. The lake’s temperature and salinity indicates that its source is deep underground.

5 comments:

glorybe said...

This is so cool! I love stuff like this!

One of my favorite caves is in my home state of Nevada, and it is called Lehman Caves. It has some really awesome stalagtites and stalagmites. It was fun to pretend when I was little that certain parts looked like a castle, etc.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

Jayson said...

I'm always excited whenever I come across news of "unique" "newly-discovered" ecosystems, and "newly-discovered" species. No telling how such discoveries could contribute to advance scientific understanding overall, but--more *exciting* still(at least IMSHO), there's no telling what sorts of treasures (e.g. new drugs or other chemicals) could be found within a creature's chemical or genetic make-up.
For all anyone knows, the cure (or at least a better treatment) for cancer (or any other disease/injury) might be found here.

Some stuff FYI:
http://edgewise.motime.com/post/544060

http://edgewise.motime.com/post/545749

Jayson said...

This is a fascinating story but, actually, but is not the first "lost world" cave system to have been discovered. Ever hear of the Movile Cave system in Romania?

Here's some info from an Independent piece from last February 2006:

"Earth's final frontiers"
http://forests.org/articles/reader.asp?linkid=52159

MOVILE CAVE OF ROMANIA

This cave near the Black Sea in south-eastern Romania was discovered by accident in 1986. When cavers began to examine it in detail, they were astounded by its unusual flora and fauna. To date more than 30 species have been described and all are endemic to the cave. Life in the cave relies on chemosynthetic microbes that live off the hydrogen sulphur that wells up from underground sources.


30 species from this East Euro cave. Perhaps this hints of what more to expect from this Israeli cave.

I'm always excited whenever I come across news of "lost worlds" like this. Makes one wonder why anyone would care about exploring Outer Space when there's so much more to discover and learn about here.

Something else FYI:

http://edgewise.motime.com/post/544060

Shushan said...

Glorybe, your blog is a delight to read, so the pleasure is all mine :-D

Looked up Lehman Caves and I can see why you are enthused about them!

http://www.nps.gov/grba/cavephotos.htm

When we lived in Texas, we saw this one cave that had the neatest butterfly formations
http://www.cavernsofsonora.com

Plenty of cool caves west of us now though
http://www.virginiaplaces.org/cave/cavelist.html

Shushan said...

Jayson, those are some very interesting links! Thank you for sharing them.

I hadn't heard of Movile cave, but I found a link wiht some good pics if you are interested in seeing it?

http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/5771/

Hey, have you ever checked out the research on the Lechugilla system?
http://www.i-pi.com/~diana/lech/
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/azcaver/lechpics.html

Its part of the larger Carlsbad system, which also goes pretty deep.
http://www.nps.gov/cave/