Stalactites vs Stalagmites

You probably learned about these cave formations in school, but we’ve certainly all mixed up the names of these two very close family members before.

So let’s do a bit of review!

Stalactites, which form on a cave’s ceiling get their name from the Greek “stalaktos,” which means ‘that which drips.’

Stalagmites, which form on a cave’s floor get their name from the Greek word for “stalagma, ” which means ‘a drop’ or ‘dropping.’

One easy way to remember which is which is that stalactites have a “C” for “ceiling” and stalagmites have a “G” for “ground.”

And that’s it!  The only difference between these two is where and how they form.  Otherwise they are pretty much the same.  Stalactites and stalagmites are created when a mineralized water or other flowing liquid drips from a cave’s ceiling.  They can be made of  lava, minerals, mud, peat, pitch, sand, sinter and amberat.  Limestone stalactites form extremely slowly – usually less than 10cm every thousand years – and radiometric dating has shown that some are over 190,000 years old.

The longest stalactite is 8.2 meters (27 feet) in the White Chamber of the Jeita Grotto in Lebanon.  The largest known stalagmite in the world exceeds 70 metres (230 ft) in height and is in Sơn Đoòng Cave, Vietnam.

So get ready to drip very slowly towards that finish line!

The usual bonuses:

The usual bonuses

Earn 5,000 points – 2,500 bonus
Earn 15,000 points – 5,000 bonus
Earn 25,000 points – 10,000 bonus
For every 25,000 points above 25,000 – 5,000 bonus
Member of winning team (if you’ve scored at least 2,500 points) – 10,000 bonus
Highest scorer on each team – 5,000 bonus
Player with #1 overall score – 10,000 bonus
Player with #2 overall score – 5,000 bonus
Player with #3 overall score – 2,500 bonus

Art by Zoe Gilette