Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Stalactites are formed from the deposition of calcium carbonate and other minerals, which is precipitated from mineralized water solutions. The corresponding formation on the floor underneath a stalactite is known as a stalagmite. Given enough time, these formations can meet, resulting in a formation known as a column or pillar.
There are mnemonics to remember which formation hangs from the ceiling (stalactite) and which grows upward from the floor (stalagmite):
- StalaCtite has a "c" for "ceiling".
- StalaGmite has a "g" for "ground".
- Stalactites hang "tite" to the ceiling above
- Stalagmites you "mite" trip over if you don't watch where you're stepping
Icicles are not stalactites, since they are made of water.
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