Deflected Stalactites

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Deflected stalactites are unusual stalactites that seem to defy gravity by forming in a curve. Their formation is not completely understood, but is most likely due to strong cave air flow. In some places this is quite evident, with groups of stals all curving in the same direction, as in the lefthand photo. But sometimes stals in one area will curve in a variety of directions, and another contributing mechanism might be disruption of the water flow down the outside of the stal by crusts or popcorn formed on the outside, as in the righthand photo.

AUTHOR: Dave Bunnell