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hover to learn about two cool cave formations

Photo description: speleothems in Crystal Palace, Marengo Cave (a U.S. National Natural Landmark in Indiana). 2021 Kortnie Huffman

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STALACTITES

STALAGMITES

grow down from the cave ceiling
icicle-shaped formation

grow up from the cave floor
mound formation

(found on the TOP)

(found on the GROUND)

SPELEOTHEMS

are cave features formed by mineral deposits from water
 

other formations not illustrated include:
columns,
cave bacon, popcorn, flowstone, & soda straws!

 

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Check out the U.S. National Park Service Junior Cave Scientist Activity Booklet !
(ages 5-12+; Spanish version)

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Stalagmite (illustrated)
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Stalagmite (illustrated)

interested in studying or exploring caves? become a

SPELEOLOGIST

( CAVE TO STUDY PERSON )

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can you spot the bat?

Photo description: a bat on "Penny Ceiling" in Dripstone Trail, Marengo Cave (a U.S. National Natural Landmark in Indiana). 2021 Kortnie Huffman

BEFORE YOU GO SPELUNKING (CAVING), YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Oils on human skin can cause cave formations to stop growing, so look & take pictures but don't touch. Decontaminating gear is important to help prevent the spread of White-nose Syndrome (a deadly fungus affecting cave-dwelling bats) between cave systems. Staying out of closed caves protects hibernating bats & maternity colonies.