Caves are known for their spectacular mineral structures. Caves are likely to be found in limestone where the groundwater level has gone down. This exposes the cave and its features. Stalactites are beautiful icicle-like formations. They form as water containing calcium carbonate drips from the ceiling of a cave. The word “stalactite” has a “c,” and it forms from the ceiling. Stalagmites form as calcium carbonate drips from the ceiling to the floor of a cave. The stalagmite grow upward. The “g” in “stalagmite” means it forms on the ground.
If a stalactite and stalagmite join together, they form a column. One of the wonders of visiting a cave is to witness the beauty of these amazing and strangely captivating structures.
Some of the largest, and most beautiful, natural crystals can be found in the Naica mine, in Mexico. These gypsum crystals were formed over thousands of years. Groundwater that is rich in calcium and sulfur flowed through an underground cave.
Groundwater dissolves minerals and carries the ions in solution.
Groundwater deposits the material in caves as stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.
Giant crystals may be found in caves.