Stalactite Proof Positives at Jurassic Ark
August 3rd 2016 By John Mackay
Click for Stalactite Report 1 - Report 2 - Report 3 - Report 4 
- Report 5 - Report 6 -Report 7
stalactite WF

1. You have previously seen the rapid growth (1cm per month) of proven calcium carbonate stalactites growing on our original concrete half-pipe. Critics have claimed the high growth rate is related to our use of ‘cement’ and thus ignorable

stalactite WF Leaf

2. You have also seen preliminary photographs of the stalactite and fossil leaf formations occurring on the second stalactite machine. In our newsletters we have sent pics of the proof that the tite material coming out of both machines is calcium carbonate along with some organics derived from the inclusion of leaf mulch. 

stalactite WF Bacterial

3. We have also sent water samples from the stalactites and stalagmites for bacterial testing as we hope to prove the high growth rate is to do with bacteria, and not simply the standard slow growth rate chemistry of water plus CO2 etc. Samples of  growths from one tite drip shown.

stalactiteWF tubes 

4. Now in order to test  the claim that our high growth rate is caused by something in the “cement”, we have designed a new experiment with no cement involved at all. The 2 vertical tube apparatus (pictured) is totally PVC plastic, and we have put into both tubes, crushed limestone and seashells, which are made of natural aragonite and calcite, both calcium carbonate, the stuff limestone consists of. Then we have put leaf mulch into the mix and filled the tubes with our standard source of untreated water from the dam.

 The right hand tube contains at base 15cm (6 inches) of seashells, then 45cm (18 inches) of crushed limestone and topped with 15cm (6 inches) of mulch.  The left hand tube has the same quantities of shells, limestone and mulch, but the mulch is mixed into the shells and limestone.

stalactiteWF wicks

5. A cotton wick was placed in each tube, extending from top to bottom, and projecting from the bottom. 

stalactiteWF froth1

6. FIRST RESULTS After one week, the wick on the left hand tube is now covered in organic rich calcium carbonate  which effervesced brilliantly under hydrochloric acid when tested on Monday August 1st.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt this is a consequence of the carbonate (limestone ) precipitating onto the wick. Since Calcium Carbonate is almost insoluble in water, something is drawing it out of the crushed limestone and seashells in a soluble form, which is then precipitating as solid calcium carbonate (limestone) on the wick. The only factor capable of doing this must be coming from the mulch. The mulch itself will produce Humic acid which will dissolve the limestone, yet the acid will not cause it to re-precipitate on the wick. The process therefore has to involve an additional factor that dissolves the original limestone, then precipitates it along with the brownish organic material. Our thesis is that it is bacteria in the mulch which are causing the carbonate (limestone) to rapidly reform. We wait with interest the results from the bacteriological tests of the tite water, mulch etc, as

stalactiteWF Daryl

7. Jurassic Ark Curator Daryl Brenton photographically records results.

stalactiteWF JM

8. PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION: The experiment has  been running only one week and the results are confirming the cement has nothing to do with the rapid formation of calcium carbonate.  One reason for the second tube where the mulch was on the surface only was to deal with the multiple factors which can be involved in calcium carbonate formation.

There is no dectable calacium carbonate in the right hand wick, thus I think eliminating physical and chemical processes such as colloids, etc. as the primary cause of the rapid formation.

I suspect the placing of the leaf mulch on the top means there will be no biological deposition until the microbes from the mulch have formed a biofilm through the mixture. In our concrete tite machine the mulch was only 15 cms above the wick exit and even then there was a time delay in commencement of the tite. In the right side tube the mulch is 60 cm above the wick exit. 


a) Continue the above and measure rates

b) CONSTRUCT a negative experiment of distilled water with limestone and no leaf mulch, then distilled water and limestone and leaf mulch made with distilled water (thus both experiments removing bacteria as far as is possible. If negative then we  know it is something to do with bacteria in the water.

c) Then we hope to adapt these experiments for the production flint which is commonly found in limestone and which we have also concluded is forming due to the action of bacteria.

d)  Finally this series will investigate the role of bacteria in formation of opal.

What we are showing is that it is not time, but the process that is important. It may be logical to say that CO2 + water slowly dissolves lime and slowly allows it to be precipitated as the CO2 evaporates, but this is not what is actually happening. The sceptics have picked the wrong process, so they end up needing lots of time. When you have the right process so you don’t need much time at all. 

 Click for Stalactite Report 1 - Report 2 - Report 3
- Report 4 Report 5 - Report 6
-Report 7

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