There is a discussion about whether touching a stalagmite or a stalactite would stop it from growing or not: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090629155053AAYFhCM . The results are that the oil on human body does prevent a stalagmite or a stalactite from growing, a short while though.

My question is, how long does it takes for the oil to completely vanish and allow the stalagmite or stalactite to resume growing.


1 Answer 1


The duration cannot be estimated as it is dependent upon many other factors, such as the diameter of stalagmite/stalactite, its age etc.

Normally these are formed in limestone caves and sometime in salt mines as well.

  • $\begingroup$ the quantity and quality of the oil deposit, the flow rate of water, plus all the items above. I'm sure there are more factors. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Nevins
    Jan 24, 2019 at 20:11

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