Sometimes, through cracks in the stone, the water droplets and calcite crystals enter  large, old caves where they make cave decorations – dripstones.

“It’s dark in here!  I am not going any further!” says the little crystal and clings to the stone wall.  “Me neither!  Me neither! ….”  Other crystals also hold on tightly and together they make stalactites – dripstones that hang from the cave ceilings.


“We’ll be dripping through winters, autumns, springs;
we’ll be dripping tirelessly through the centuries.”

(from the poem “Let’s Become Dripstones” by Vjekoslav Majer)


The crystals that can’t hold onto the ceiling fall on the ground together with droplets of water.  The droplets continue on, and the crystals build towers.

“I’m falling!” Drip!  Drip!  “I’m staying here!  I’ve had enough excitement!” says the calcite crystal and keeps lying on the ground holding on to other crystals.

The towers grow from the ground towards the ceiling.  Such cave formations are called stalagmites.


Did you know?

Stalagmites that grow fast can only reach 1 meter in height in 100 years.  But if the water drips slowly such growth can take as long as 10000 years.

Stalactites and stalagmites can join together into columns up to 10 meters high.  How long does it take for such a column to grow?