The Caves & Cliffs update for Minecraft showed us a lot of exciting new features, but the showcase didn't delve very deep on all of the upcoming changes. We saw a lot about the Lush Caves biome, but it’s not the only underground biome that’s coming to the Minecraft 1.18 update as the Dripstone Caves were also shown off briefly. The Dripstone Caves were originally planned for the 1.17 update, but they were pulled right before launch.
Unlike the Lush Caves, the Dripstone Caves are the closest to vanilla Minecraft’s underground areas. If anything, they seem a fair bit like the massive and open cave areas that are already in the game, just with a whole bunch of extra cave stuff – that's an official term, cave stuff.
Still, bog-standard caves are now their own proper biome, and while Mojang kept quiet on a lot of their features during Minecon 2020, there are still things to talk about. But before we go too far into this, let’s give the customary disclaimer about what exactly the difference is between stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites are the rock spikes that form on the ceiling, while stalagmites are the spikes that form from the ground. A useful way to remember it would be to look at the spelling: Stalactites = ceiling, Stalagmites = ground. Honestly, what would you do without us.