DownloadDescription: Several giant stalagmites in Carlsbad Caverns. It is difficult to judge scale in this photo, but these monsters are over 30 feet tall, standing on a mound of accumulated limestone the size of a small hill.
DownloadDescription: A large bulbous limestone stalagmite in Carlsbad Caverns. This stalagmite is nearly white with some pinkish highlights, seen against the dark background of the cave. It is formed in ridges, with icicle-like formations forming below the lip of each ridge.
DownloadDescription: Enormous stalagmites towering above a low hill of limestone. These great limestone towers are over 30 feet tall. This picture is taken in portrait view, showing more of the base of the stalagmites than the previous pic. The stalagmite on the right has a lot of texture, with branching formations that look almost like sprigs of broccoli, while the stalagmite on the left is almost smooth.
DownloadDescription: A large limestone cave in Carlsbad Caverns. On the floor of the cave are several large stalagmites. In the distance there is an opening in the back wall of the cave, leading into another chamber with large stalagmites on the floor.
DownloadDescription: A wide flat conical stalagmite in Carlsbad Caverns. Scale is difficult to judge in this photo, but the stalagmite is about four feet wide at the base.
DownloadDescription: The tip of a white limestone stalagmite in Carlsbad Caverns. The ridges of the stalagmite are covered in the barnacle-like formations called cave popcorn. Above the tip of the stalagimte, a stalactite above it can just be seen looming out of the darkness of the upper reaches of the cave, nearly touching the stalagmite below.
DownloadDescription: A large limestone cave in Carlsbad Caverns. On the floor of the cave stand two giant stalagmites, and several clusters of smaller stalagmites. Above, hanging from the roof of the cave, is a huge cluster of stalactites, lit brightly from below.
DownloadDescription: A large limestone cave in Carlsbad Caverns. The cave floor has severla large conical stalagmites and a cluster of smaller, rough-textured stalagmites. On the right side of the picture is the sloping side and base of a huge stalagmite. Behind the stalagmites, the cave wall is festooned with pointy stalactites.
DownloadDescription: A tall thin limestone stalagmite in Carlsbad Caverns. This formation looks almost like an inverted stalagmite, with a narrow base and a sharp tip, but it's surface is rough and ridged in the manner typical of stalagmites.
DownloadDescription: The top of a large gray stalagmite in Carlsbad Caverns. The ridges of the stalagmite are encrusted with the bulbous formations known as cave popcorn. Seen against a dark background.
In the depths of Carlsbad Caverns, water drips slowly through the limestone ceiling, carrying with it traces of dissolved rock. Over the long centuries, the deposits left by these drips as they hit the floor pile up into huge, strange rock formations called stalagmites, rising from the floor like pillars. These formations are lumpy and strangely shaped, like drip castles made of sand. Some are tall and thin, others broad and low. Some tower as tall as trees, while others join with stalactites from the ceiling to form solid pillars reaching from floor to ceiling.