Daily Devotional – December 23
Visitors on cave tours are almost always told that the stalactites and stalagmites have taken thousands, if not millions, of year to form. The claim is frequently made that a stalactite takes a full century to grow only one inch. Always consider, however, what you are not being told! For instance:
- Stalactites in the basement of the Lincoln Memorial are huge. The memorial was built during the 1930s with a basement. Rainwater seeping through the marble floor has formed stalactites up to five feet in height!
- A concrete railroad bridge in Wooster, Ohio, had a stalactite growing underneath that was over 12 inches long. Only twelve years earlier, the bridge had been cleaned of stalactites.
- Foot-long stalactites have grown in lime-rich mines of Newcastle, Australia. These mines are less than 40 years old.
Stalactites grow where water seeps through limestone rock, dissolving limestone. When water containing the dissolved limestone enters the cave roof, the water evaporates leaving the limestone behind. If there are any remaining water droplets, they fall to the cave floor and evaporate, leaving behind the deposit, in this case, a stalagmite.
During past periods of massive water movement through the ground (such as during the Ice Age), water would percolate through the ground into empty cave formations to form many stalactites and stalagmites very rapidly. After the Ice Age, there was a great drying out of climates worldwide.
To make a stalactite and stalagmite doesn’t take millions of years, just the right conditions.
I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
~ Luke 19:40
Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett