So there’s this myth about a Irish giant named Fionn Mac Cumhaill who once accepted the challenge to battle the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn decided to build a causeway across the north channel to meet his contender, and that’s how the Giant’s Causeway was created.
While that story sounds pretty awesome, it’s probably not true. In actual fact the Giant’s Causeway, or Clochán na bhFomhórach in Irish, is actually not man-made (or giant-made), but in fact created after an ancient volcanic eruption.
About 40,000 basalt columns interlock on the shore forming chaotic stepping tones that start at the base of a mountain and descend towards the sea.
Years ago, when the molten lava poured out from surrounding volcanos, it blended with the chalk beds and created a kind of plateau that cooled and cracked forming these uneven stepping stones. The majority of the basalt columns have six sides and the tallest ones are around 12 metres high.
In recent years the Giant’s Causeway has become a popular tourist destination for travellers to Northern Ireland. Entry to the causeway is £7.50 ($16AUD) and tickets can be purchased here.
(Lead image: spatialpan/Flickr)