The Myth and Legend of the Giant’s Causeway

Symmetry seems like an absolutely normal thing if we encounter it to flowers, insects or on the face of a tiger. But in geology it is rarely met, and in the places where it can be found it amazes everyone.

In Giant’s Causeway nature fully proved it’s mathematical genius polishing thousands of stone columns with multiple sides, all together forming a gigantic bundle of hexagonal crayons.

From far away, the area seems to be just a simple slice from the charming shore of the Antrim district, but suddenly your eyes may quickly turn to a checkered promontory in a strong way: starting from the bottom of the shore, slowly dropping in the sea, like a giant slide. For a moment you will not know what to believe: it looks like the graphic of a computer game. Still, this geological wonder has been there for around 60 million years.

Europe and North America united at the time started to take distance from each other, pushed by the Atlantic Ocean, which widen step by step starting from a volcanic foil on the bottom of the ocean. Today, the foil can be found inland, together with its numerous active volcanoes. The lava area from Ireland and Scotland formed on this point at the time when the two continents started to split.

As it has flowed, the lava gave birth, in the Antrim district to the widest plateau in Europe of this type. The basalt content of melt material was, from place to place, incredibly big and, by taking a solid form, it contracted, but, because of this contraction forces were so good distributed, the lava cracked with a geometrical precision creating Giant’s Causeway. The same process takes place when a thick layer of mud on the bottom of a dried pond dries on the sun.

On Giant’s Causeway, the basalt columns are around 460 mm in diameter, while their height varies between 1 and 2 meters. The dam has the maximum width of 180 m, enters the sea 150 m and is formed of 40000 columns.

During the millenniums, the erosion of the icebergs and continuous flounder of the Atlantic have polished the dam in the shape we can see today.

Each basalt column in Giant’s Causeway is in fact made of a series of segments approximately 360 mm long which were welded together but separated in time by inner tensions. From time to time, the portions exposed are split by the waves across the break line between the segments, offering the dam the step-way aspect in has today.

Giant’s Causeway is the most popular of the basalt structures on the shore, but, we can find other beyond the shore and inside the golfs in the region. During the years they have all received specific names. Orga is a group of tall columns, embedded in the cliff of the neighboring golf, Port Noffer. The amphitheater is a golf surrounded by extraordinary bundles of columns. In the same area we can find The Giant’s Pot Cover, Wishes Stall, The King, the nobles and the coffin.

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