Phytokarst is a phenomenon where speleothems or speleogens orient towards sunlight coming from a cave entrance. They may be depositional, or may be pinnacles formed in bedrock which orient towards the sunlight. In the case of depositional speleothems, green moss or algae are often seen growing on the formations. The bedrock type, as shown below in a series of images from Hang Son Doong in Vietnam, may show little but some red patches of bacterial growth that cause them to dissolve the bedrock in a manner that leaves small fingers pointing towards sunlight.

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Created: May 25, 2016

Author: Dave Bunnell