Caving in Devon- Helictites (pictured on the right) can be
found on the walls and ceilings of caves, they can also be found
growing from stalactites and straws. The formation of helictites
is still not proven, they seem to defy the laws of gravity and
grow out sideways from the wall...
Stalactites, stalagmites and other
speleothems are formed by calcium carbonate and other minerals
dissolving the limestone and depositing themselves on the rock.
The average growth rate for a stalactite is 0.13mm a
year...imagine how long it takes to form the large features we see
in caves today!
Conservation- caves are home to delicate and often stunning
formations, it is very important for us to respect this
environment and leave everything as we find it...this includes not
touching any of the features, one fingerprint can stop the growth
of a formation which could have taken
hundreds of years to reach its current state.