As the lava cooled, it contracted into polygonal columns, some 4, 5, 6 sides. Some are 12' thick, some are 40' tall. Beginning at the top, fractures spread down in layers, with the cooling and contractions stressing the material. The hexagonal shape relieves the most stress with least energy. Meet Dr. Alberto G. Rojo and author Eduardo A. Jagla, Argentina. Their interest is in the patterns nature shows, Match an experiment with cornstarch.
No, that is too technical and dull. Try this one.
Dan Widing at the Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Waiting for Finn.
There was once a quarrel between two giants, named Finn Mac Cool and Benandonner.
Benandonner built the causeway as a walkway from Scotland so he could do battle properly against Finn Mac Cool. The story has Finn posing as a baby in a pram, and the mother saying the baby is just Finn's brother - do read it all at ballycastle.free-online.co.uk/places/causeway/causeway. Science may be right, but myth never misses.
So we have another. Finn was besotted with a lovely lady from the Hebrides, another lady giant, and build the causeway in order to bring her to Ireland. Back to http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/02/science/physicists-at-play-help-unlock-the-mysteries-of-lava.html?scp=1&sq=Physicists%20at%20Play%20help%20unlock%20the%20mysteries%20of%20lava&st=cse
Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
These formations are from vast long-ago lava flows, see all the geology and history at northantrim.com/giantscauseway. The white tin on the rock means stop: walk no further. Or that someone tippled.
Giant's Causeway, lava rock formations, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Dan Widing as Finn, Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. See whc.unesco.org/en/list/369.
Meet Finn. See allaboutirish.com/library/tales/gcauseway.shtm for the myth.
See also thesalmons.org/lynn/wh-england.html for the Giant's Causeway. This is a fine site with all the World Heritage sites listed. Scroll down to the causeway, and follow the links for history and geology. See also geographia.com/northern-ireland/ukiant01.htm for tourism information.