Remember the photos of the unusual rocks along the water? That was the Giant Causeway in Ireland. This area is found on the north coast of Northern Ireland. I recently sent to you information about Ireland and Northern Ireland. It explained the differences in these areas. For the purposes of our trip, we include Northern Ireland in our trip.
When you visit the Giant Causeway you learn the Legend and the Science of the area. The name for the area is reflective of the legend. The story goes: Finn McCool, a Irish Warrior Giant sees a Scottish Giant – Benandonner, threatening Ireland. Finn, not wanting to swim, throws rocks into the sea to create a path to Scotland. As he crosses the causeway he sees the size of Benandonner and is afraid. He retreats to Ireland and Benandonner follows. Finn’s wife quickly dresses her husband to look like a baby. When Benandonner sees the giant baby he leaves in fear, believing that if the baby is that big, the father must be much bigger. He destroys the pathway as he retreats. There is a similar causeway on the Scottish island across from Ireland showing evidence of the true length of the rock formation, the giant’s pathway.
The Science of the rock formation is very interesting. 60 million years ago or so a volcano erupted and lava flowed down toward the sea. As the lava cooled it formed the basalt columns. Volcanos are an opening of the earth that allows the release of materials from our earth’s very hot layers. The heat is so great that rocks become liquid. The melted rock pours out of the Volcano and flows. It begins to cool at the surface and slowly cools. The cracks form as the cooling occurs. Watch this video to see the process explained.
I found a great site for learning more about volcanos. Take a short trip to this site to learn more.
The Giant Causeway is made of Basalt. Basalt is an igneous rock – colored rock from the magma (very hot part of earth) and contains silica, oxygen, iron (Latin= Ferrum) and Magnesium (Latin = Magnesium). The iron and magnesium component is referred to as Ferromagnesian. The columns at the causeway are each 15-20 inches in diameter (measurement across) and up to 82 feet high.
I loved the photos of you sitting and standing on the Giant Causeway. Does it feel like you were really there?