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                                                  Stalactites Facts

Stalactites are the most common types of speleothems found in caves. They are formed by water dripping from fractures of ceilings of the cave. This is the rainwater that seeps through the cave over a long period of time. These amazing cave features are created by the deposition of minerals. They are sometimes known as cave decorations as well. The word Speleothems has been derived from Greek words ‘Spelaion’ that means ‘cave’ and ‘thema’ means ‘deposit’. Stalactites grow downwards from the ceiling or walls of the cave. They grow at a slow speed, approximately one inch per year.

Fun Facts: –

  • The Stalactites can be icicle shaped, straw shaped or curtain shaped.
  • The stalagmite is a different type of speleothems. They grow upwards from the cave floor.
  • When a stalagmite and stalactite meet each other they form a continuous column or pillar from floor to the ceiling.
  • The color of a speleothem is determined by its mineral content.
  • Stalactites and stalagmites are generally found in pairs. They are also known as dripstones.
  • The largest stalactite in the world is located in a cave in County Clare, Ireland. It is more than 23 feet long.
  • Stalactites and Stalagmites both are regarded as objects of natural heritage and protected by law in many countries.
  • They are not the only type of speleothems. There are some other formations as well like flowstones, pool spar, showerhead etc.
  • These mineral formations grow much faster in artificial caves and tunnels.
  • Soda straw stalactites are the fastest growing but most fragile cave formations.


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