Joined: Aug. 2005
At a cement quarry in Israel, researchers have discovered eight previously unknown species of small creatures in a newfound underground cave.
The limestone cave has long been sealed off from it surroundings—even outside water cannot seep through an overlying layer of chalk—and it contains an entire ecosystem unlike anything known.
The newly named Ayalon Cave stretches for about 1.5 miles and is "unique in the world," said Amos Frumkin of the Hebrew University Department of Geography.
A small opening was uncovered at the quarry, leading to the cave, which extends more than 100 yards below the surface. It is situated between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Scientists found seawater and freshwater crustaceans in underground lakes that are a brackish mix, as well as a terrestrial scorpion that, owing to the eternal darkness in the cave, is blind. The new species were all found alive except the scorpion, but live scorpions will be found in further expeditions, said university researcher Hanan Dimentman.
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip
I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands