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Stalactites and stalagmites form naturally in caves, but
take a long time to do so. If left long enough they will
eventually join and form a limestone pillar.
It occurred to me that stalactite-like limestone pillars
could be a decorative architectural element, if only
they could be acquired
without distruction of rare and
irreplacable natural wonders.
I propose that such pillars may be grown much more
quickly in optimal conditions, by 'farming' them. The
pillars could be produced in standard sizes, and also
grown to order. This would of course still take some
time, but the starting point can be some way along in
Allowing the use of a core cut from pre-existing
limestone would greatly reduce the time needed, for
non-purists. Probably only a few centimeters of growth
would be necessary to cover this substrate.
The growing system would need to supply calcium-
carbonate (CaCO3) saturated water to a point at the
required height above the base level, in a dry
The optimum process temperature would need to be
For a dissolved CaCO3 method, the water will need to be
acidified with carbon dioxide (CO2), and the rate of
growth may be increased if the atmosphere is low in
Given these points, a recycling system for water and CO2
would seem to be desirable, with moist, CO2-rich air
from the growth chamber being bubbled through the
Suggested environmentally friendly CaCO3 source:
 Possibly even load-bearing.
 on a human timescale.
A large natural example [Loris, Jul 28 2011]
||Wouldn't you get suicide bombers rushing into your buildings with bottles of lemon juice strapped to them?
||[+] I'm curious as to the load-bearing properties.
||I often make little steel stalagmites on scrap metal when
pre-heating certain welding rods if I'm not near the rod
oven. They build up fast. When I was dating the goddess
who is now my wife, I welded a disc to the top of one and
swirled the rod around to make a toadstool; she has a little
pewter goblin that sits on top of it now.
||But I digress; a special accretion device using pulverized
stone and water instead of molten metal might make this a
||Somewhere in the UK - might be near Wookey Hole Caves - there's a waterfall where objects are hung in the spray and rapidly accumulate a respectable coating of flowstone.
||It's practical. Strength-wise, it should be quite good; though not as good as a pulled crystal of silicon.
||[+] I think it's a beautiful and practical idea!
||Ah, 21 Quest - you're never slow to mark something for deletion without actually understanding it, are you?
||It amuses me that you think of yourself as a pedant.
||We all have our faults. [Alterother], for instance, while
morally opposed to both (fish)boning and mfd-ing, is often
quick to harshly mock ideas that he does not understand.
He also refers to himself in the third-person with annoying
regularity, posts off-topic annos on a daily basis, and is a
chronic misspeller of the word 'thier.'
||We are glad that, although [Alterother] refers to himself in the third person, he uses the singular.
||If he used the first person plural, for example, he would be liable for royalty fees, as we have the HalfBakery copyright.
||[8th] open source or be pirated!
||Oh good, 8th, you can have Maxwell's cube... you just have to figure out how to line up the gangplank.
||Please reserve "redundant" for things that already
exist on the halfbakery, and please don't mark
ideas for deletion just because you can find
another instance on the Internet. Please
continue to link to other instances if they're
interesting, and please do continue to
mark ideas for deletion whose existence you knew
about off the top of your head, simply as a well-
||I'm ignoring the mfd, but these tags do clog our
database, and it would be kind to the posters (and
less distracting to the maintainers) not to apply
them in cases like this. Thanks.