Cave Stalactite Sizes

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A stalactite is a mineral deposit that is usually - though not exclusively - found in limestone caves. They are formed on the ceilings of caverns by the slow deposition of calcium carbonate and other minerals as they drip, in solution, over the stalactite. These formations take extremely lengthy periods to form; the average growth rate is not much more than 0.1 mm per year (10 centimeters (4 inches!) per thousand years). With such a slow rate of formation, if the earth was less than ten thousand years old we would expect to see the largest stalactites being not much longer than one meter1. In fact stalactites frequently reach from the ceiling to the floor of large caverns.(2)

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