Stalactite supervisor John Sato examines new formations with disappointment.
"A proper stalactite grows downward," said Sato, "But these younger stalactites are rebellious and have little respect for tradition. We’ve caught them growing sideways, diagonally, I saw one just yesterday that grew down at first but then went straight back up again into the rock ceiling."
Numerous theories abound as to why the stalactites are growing more bold. Some blame global warming for chemical shifts in the dripping minerals. Others feel television is to blame. But Sato has another theory:
"Many stalactites today come from modern rock. Classic rock held superior morals and produced straight stalactites. But modern rock, such as hard rock or acidic rock aren’t so solid. To keep stalactites on course, we must examine both the rocks and the role played by the minerals, the substance they communicate downward. Only with a comprehensive study of rock and role will we come to an understanding of the problem, and begin to move toward a solution. Such as an opaline silica solution, or a 50% fluorite solution."
Others feel that blaming rock is a cop-out, and that the problem lies with society’s standard of binary geological roles. Said Peter Saenz of GLAAD (Geological Land Appraisal And Diagnostics), “Who are we to say a stalactite has to be straight and hook up with a stalagmite? Maybe some stalactites are meant to meet other stalactites, maybe some stalactites want to find their own way through the caves. It’s not for us to dictate.”
This viewpoint has proven controversial, with high ranking clergy at the Vatican stating, “The Bible clearly states that speleothems are between one stalactite and one stalagmite, and that it is the stalactite’s role to descend upon the other.”
Peter Saenz retorts that the Vatican needs to mind its own business about what others go down on.