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STALACTITES


HOW DO THEY FORM?

Water seeping into a limestone cave drips from the ceiling and leaves calcite forming thin, hollow tubes, known as soda straws. Over time, water begins to flow along the outer edge of the soda straw, depositing calcite, making the icicle shape of a stalactite.

WHERE ARE THEY FOUND?

Stalactites are found hanging from the ceiling of caves, or hanging off other formations. They can be found in all of our caves and are in abundance in the ceiling of Black Chasm's Landmark room (top) and California Cave's Jungle Room (bottom).

HOW ARE THEY IDENTIFIED?

Stalactites are vertical cave formations that grow from the ceiling down and look like icicles.

Stalactites and stalagmites are often confused. Here's an easy way to remember the differences between them:

Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling.
Stalagmites might grow up to the ceiling one day.

For more detailed information on speleothem formation, go to our Cavern Geology lesson plan's section on speleothems by clicking HERE.

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