Giants Causeway: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland
Giants Causeway: Northern Ireland

These rocks are a follow-up shot to an earlier image I posted of barnacles at the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim, Northern Ireland. This particular image shows why the Causeway is so fussed over, which is because of the hexagonal rock formations that are stacked like poker chips, giving off an appearance of a miniature city, a ton of totem polls crammed together, or towers of gold coins in a cave of pirate loot (if he or she was organized).

Here is a shot (not mine) that details the structure and the height of the formations. Keep in mind that each rock is about 10-12 inches high. Behind the waters edge, there is a grass path and behind that the rocks shoot up into cliffs while maintaining their perfect geometry. For years, people have speculated on how the rocks came to be. Was is the mythic tale of a path built by the Irish giant Finn MacCool to meet Scottish giant Benandonner for a fight? Or did someone put them there like Stonehenge? Or was it an act of God? (In case you haven’t taken interest in Ireland over the past century, the Irish are a highly religious people with a long-waging war between the Catholics and the Protestants, the latter being from Britain, typically, but the philosophy of the Causeway as religious incident stems from the global New World Creationists who believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old). The real answer, however, is that the hexagonal shapes are due to a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago. Not from a giant. Or jesus. Or aliens. Even more interesting is that when one looks at the ground at the Causeway, it is cracked into perfect hexagonal shapes matching the rocks because of the way the lava contracted during rapid cooling as it oozed through the chalk beds.

Gotta love good old science to always Mike Tyson religion in the face. BAM!


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