Helictites

I am fascinated by helictites. These are formations that defy gravity and grow horizontally or even upward. The mechanics of how they form are still the subject of debate, but the current theories are:

  • capillary forces,
  • wind,
  • piezoelectric forces, or
  • bacteria.

In my untrained opinion, all are viable explanations. I have taken photos of helictites that are clearly formed by capillary forces (Three Fingers Cave) and others that are clearly formed by wind (Logan’s Cave) or wind/water (O’Neal Waterfall Cave).

Helictites create some of the most amazing and beautiful cave formations. They twist, turn, flare, grow back into themselves. They can be complex, woven formations. They can be incredibly delicate. Below are samples of helictites that I have photographed over the years. If you enjoy them, leave me a comment below.

 

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