Giants Causeway

Giant’s Causeway is an interesting location because of the geology and the myths behind it. There are over 40,000 basalt columns that reach a maximum height of 39 feet. Over 50 million years ago the area had violent volcanic activity and as the basalt started to cool it fractured. These fractures formed into the distinct shapes we know today that make up the Causeway. The pillars have four to eight sides though most only have six. The solidified lava in the surrounding cliffs can be up to 92 feet thick. Though the Causeway is not entirely unique it is one of the largest and most complex basalt column formations in the world. Other notable locations nearby are Fingal’s Cave in Scotland and the Gobbins Path in North Ireland, though the Gobbins location has very little of it.

If a section of a column breaks into a shorter section it is called a biscuit. Because of the way it fractures the top of the biscuit is convex and the bottom is concave. Most of the columns have convex bumps on top indicating that they were taller at one point and the scree fields prove that.

The mythology part of Giant’s Causeway is also very interesting. It is said that an Irish giant built a bridge to Scotland. Starting at Giant’s Causeway and ending in Fingal’s cave. In most stories, it is said the Irish giant won either from trickery or just strength. In one story the Irish giant hides as baby out of fear and the Scottish giant thinks that the baby is so large that his father must be huge so he flees and destroyed the causeway behind him.   

Another fascinating fact about Giant’s Causeway is that a rare colony of stromatolites was discovered there in 2011. Stromatolites are very rare and in a way are living rocks. The are sedimentary rocks that have been made up of millions of one-celled organisms dying and decaying into the rock. Like living on a planet made from your ancestors! The area is also loved by seabirds because of the seaweed and grass that gets stuck in and around the columns.

Now the Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fascinating location to visit. Whether you want to see it because of the fascinating geology, the rich history, or just because, it is definitely worth seeing.


One Response to “Giants Causeway

  • Heather Jackson
    3 years ago

    Looks very interesting. I would love to take K one day.

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