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Seven Incredible Facts On The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
by Nico McKenzie
The Giant’s Causeway tends to top the list of many Northern Ireland bucket lists.
An official Unesco World Heritage Site since 1986, the Giant’s Causeway was formed around 50 to 60 million years ago as a result of a volcanic eruption.
Those that visit can admire thousands of basalt columns that almost look like they’re tumbling down in the icy waters of the Atlantic. It’s estimated that there are over 40,000 of the hexagonal-shaped pillars that you can see in the image above at the Giants Causeway.
Here are seven other facts about the Giant’s Causeway that you probably didn’t know.
It was voted as the 4th greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. UNESCO declared it as a world Heritage site in 1986. Since then, many people from all over the world have come to Northern Ireland to learn more about this fascinating natural wonder.
The Giant Causeway has about 40,000 interlocking columns made from basalt. The columns have a unique hexagonal shape. The columns are reminiscent of huge stepping stones. Some actually go as high 39 feet into the air.
The number of columns per rock vary. Some have four sides while others go up to eight sides. This creates a rugged feeling about the location. During the rock weathering, circular structures start to appear. Most residents call them the Giant’s Eyes. The giant reference goes back to a mythical tale claiming that the area was originally created by the giant Fin McCool.
At first glance the formation of the columns appears man made. But following closer inspection, you can see nature at work. Based on geology, the Giant’s Causeway was formed over 50 million years ago by intense volcanic action. The lava cooled at a rapid speed breaking into distinctive shapes.
There are many legends surrounding its formation, but only a few can be believed. There was a local legend who claimed that a giant built the Giant Causeway to reach a rival over in Scotland. Many more stories about the rock formation exist adding a certain mythical quality to the place.
When Robert The Bruce was in exile from Scotland in 1307 he was rumoured to have coined the phrase “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again” while watching a spider struggle to form a web in the wind and rain in a nearby cave.
If you are a person that loves to watch sea birds, this is a great place to visit. It has some excellent spots where you can sit and wait for the sea birds to land. In addition, some rare plants that thrive in this region can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.