Myth v Fact: How the Giant’s Causeway was Formed
If you are thinking about booking a coach trip in Northern Ireland, choose one that takes you through County Antrim – that is where the famous Giant’s Causeway is found. The Causeway is a natural world heritage site, and something that visitors to the north of Ireland shouldn’t miss.
This area of Northern Ireland is steeped in the folklore that permeates the whole of the country. Legends and fairytales have it that the area was built by the giant Finn McCool, as a means of getting his Scottish girlfriend into Ireland. Other stories about the causeway say that it was formed through hard labour with pick and shovel. Since the end of the 18th century however, science has provided a very different picture of what the causeway is, and how it was formed.
The Giant’s Causeway: Myth and History
Poor old Finn McCool, wherever and whoever he is, would be disturbed to hear that he actually had nothing to do with the formation of the Giant’s Causeway. Scientists discovered the truth of how the area was formed a long while ago. Their efforts showed that the causeway was formed as many as 50 or 60 million years ago. At that time, there was a lot of volcanic activity in the area, and it was from the rapid cooling of volcanic rock that the Giant’s Causeway was formed.
A Natural Wonder
The causeway is made from black, basalt columns, around 40,000 of them, sticking out above the sea. At the top of the lower reaches of the causeway, the columns contain a red coloured rock. One of the reasons that the columns became associated with giants, many believe, is due to circle-like forms, which have become known as the ‘giant’s eyes’.
A Variety of Colours
As you get closer to the shore line you can see parts of the rock and surrounding area are many-coloured, due to different types of lichen that are yellow, white, green and orange. The area is great for watching the natural world and for rock pooling. If you like watching sea life then you won’t be disappointed, as the area is home to a wide variety of marine creatures. The Giant’s Causeway is one of the world’s natural wonders situated in the UK. This area of County Antrim contains what you might call a ‘geological jewel’, and is something that any coach tour of Northern Ireland shouldn’t miss.