Mount Sodom is located to the west of the southern basin of the Dead Sea, and is an extraordinary geological phenomenon: apart from some thin layers of silt and marl it is made entirely of salt.
Mount Sodom is 11km long and approximately 2km wide. The mountain top is 200m above the Dead Sea and reaches a height of 190m below sea level. Since the surface soil is made of more than 95% salt, no plant can grow on the mountain. This creates a moon-like landscape. Contrary to any other rock, the salt dissolves rapidly in water. Erosion and creation of underground cavities are more than 50 times faster than in limestone or dolomite.
The “Malcham” Cave beneath Mount Sodom is the longest known cave in Israel, and the longest single natural salt cave in the world. It is 5,500m long and is full of breath-taking salt stalactites, with endless vertical and horizontal volumes.
The mountain is strongly connected with several Biblical stories (in the Old Testament); concerning the destruction of the cities called “Sodom and Gomorrah” (in the book of Genesis); the rescue of Lot; the turning of Lot’s wife to a salt-pillar and the cave where Lot hid with his daughters.
Upon destruction of the city, God and his angles ordered Lot and his family to flee to the mountains and never look back. Alas, Lot’s wife could not resist the temptation and once she turned her head, she had turned into a salt pillar.