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Make Your Own Stalactites

String Phone

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Make a Homemade Stalactite

Materials Needed
  • Two jars or cups
  • Epsom salt
  • Water
  • Newspaper
  • Natural fiber string (cotton or wool)

Have you ever seen a stalactite? They are natural stone columns that form on the ceilings of caves. Stalagmites are the ones that grow from the floor.

In this experiment we are going to make our own stalactite using epsom salt.

  1. Fill each jar with water.

  2. Pour epsom salt into each jar and stir. Continue adding epsom salt until a thick solution is created.

  3. Take a natural fiber string, cotton or wool yarn will work, and thoroughly soak the string in the epsom salt solution.

  4. Place the two jars onto several sheets of newspaper. Place the jars about 6 inches apart.

  5. Set up your experiment somewhere where it can sit untouched for a few days.

  6. Place one end of the string into one jar and the other end of the string into the other jar. Let the string sag a little between the jars but don't let it touch the ground.

  7. Check on your project everyday for the next few days to see what happens. Don't touch anything, the stalactite is very delicate.

What Happened?

The string carried the solution from the jars to the low point of the string and dripped from there. The solution carried the epsom salt with it. As the water evaporated out of the solution only the epsom salt was left. As each drip occurred, it deposited a little more epsom salt, causing a stalactite to form.

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