Stalactites and stalagmites decorate caves the world over. Stalactites hang down from the ceiling, while stalagmites rise up from the ground. They grow incredibly slowly, and some are so ancient that they predate modern humans, Live Science previously reported

These tooth-like rock formations grow when dripping water comes into contact with the cave air, according to the National Park Service website. The water carries dissolved minerals, picked up on its journey from Earth’s surface. As it passes through the cave, it leaves tiny traces of those minerals behind, building each stalactite drip by drip.

What shape are stalactites?


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