Stalagmites are secondary mineral formations that grow from the floors of limestone caves. They are a sub-class of speleothems and are created by the deposition of dissolved minerals, such as calcite, from dripping water. Stalagmites are characterized by their conical shape, with a broad base at the floor and a narrower tip as they grow upward. They can range in size from a few centimeters to several meters in height.

Mineral Makeup

Stalagmites are predominantly composed of calcite, a calcium carbonate mineral. Other minerals, like aragonite, gypsum, or even amorphous silica, can form stalagmites under specific conditions. The mineral composition of a stalagmite depends on the dissolved minerals present in the groundwater and the unique environment of the cave.


Stalagmites form through the slow precipitation of dissolved minerals from dripping water in limestone caves. When mineral-rich water drips onto the cave floor, dissolved calcium carbonate reacts with carbon dioxide in the air and precipitates as calcite. Over time, these calcite deposits accumulate, creating the conical shape of the stalagmite.


Stalagmites can be found in limestone caves worldwide, with some remarkable examples located in Mammoth Cave National Park (United States), the Jeita Grotto (Lebanon), and the Nerja Caves (Spain). The formation of stalagmites requires specific environmental conditions, such as a constant water supply, dissolved minerals, and stable temperatures.


Stalagmites are believed to possess metaphysical properties that promote grounding, balance, and perseverance. They are thought to help individuals find stability and inner strength in times of change or adversity. Stalagmites are also associated with the concept of growth and the patience required for personal transformation and spiritual development.

ClassSedimentary (Chemical)
Mineral MakeupPrimarily calcite, with possible aragonite, gypsum, or amorphous silica 
LusterVitreous to pearly
Hardness (Mohs)3 (calcite) – varies depending on mineral composition
StreakWhite (calcite) – varies depending on mineral composition
ColorWhite, cream, or light brown – varies depending on mineral composition and impurities 
CleavagePerfect in three directions, rhombohedral (calcite) – varies depending on mineral composition 
Specific Gravity2.71 (calcite) – varies depending on mineral composition