Stalactite. Stalagmite. Both are pointy developments found in limestone caverns: One punctuate, the other points down. But which is which? One way to keep in mind is that stalactite has a “c” in it, as in “ceiling,” and also stalagmite has a “g” in it, as in “ground.”

At the very least it’s very easy to see the difference in between stalactites and stalagmites, which are also called dripstone. When water moves down with the ground and right into a cave, it dissolves a mineral called calcite (a significant foundation of sedimentary rock) as well as lugs it through splits in the ceiling. The trickling water leaves traces of calcite, which gradually develops on the ceiling till a stalactite materializes, hanging down like an icicle.

Water from the end of the stalactite leaves more calcite in a pile on the cave flooring, and pretty quickly a cone-like stalagmite kinds. That’s why stalactites and also stalagmites are generally found in pairs. Sometimes they expand with each other to form a column or column.

An additional word for natural resource produced in caves by the motion of water is “speleothem,” as well as there are other types of speleothems besides stalactites as well as stalagmites. For instance, “boxwork” is made of slim sheets of calcite that kind (duh) boxes, as well as a “stegamite” is a ridge of calcite that presses up from a cavern floor. A “straw” is a special kind of stalactite that is long, tube-like, hollow, as well as incredibly thin– around a half-inch or less in diameter.

Limestone caves filled with stalactites and also stalagmites are prominent vacationer attractions in a lot of areas around the globe. Several of the extra well-known ones are Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Buchan Caves in Australia, and the Jeita Underground Chamber in Lebanon, home of the globe’s biggest recognized stalactite.

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