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Originally published in Creation 17(2):6, March 1995
The ‘bottle stalagmite’ became a public testimony to the fact that stalactites and stalagmites don’t take tens of thousands of years or more to form.
In the early 1950s, a worker at Australia’s Jenolan Caves in New South Wales placed this lemonade bottle in one of the area’s many beautiful limestone caves.
The bottle sat beneath a continually active stalactite in what is known as the ‘Temple of Baal’.
In the decades that followed, the ‘bottle stalagmite’ became a public testimony to the fact that stalactites and stalagmites don’t take tens of thousands of years or more to form.
In fact, by the time this photograph was taken in the early 1980s, a coating of calcite about three millimetres thick had already formed on the bottle. That’s about one millimetre thickness each decade.
But the rate of stalactite formation may have been even faster in the past. Caves and their formations in tropical areas develop much faster than those in more temperate regions because of higher annual rainfall, and there are other factors too which influence growth rate.
The spectacular formations in the world’s limestone caves could have formed in just a few thousand years—a time framework consistent with the view that they were formed during the closing stages, and after, the worldwide Flood of Noah’s Time.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.