Friday, April 17, 2009

Antrim. GIANT'S CAUSEWAY; Northern Ireland

The Giant's Causeway consists of some 40,000 basaltic lava columns.  It started tens of millions of years ago, with hot lava seeping up through limestone cracks, to form a plateau. See

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 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

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

These formations are from vast long-ago lava flows, see all the geology and history at  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

Meet Finn. See for the myth.

See also 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 for tourism information.

This would be an excellent geo-tourism site because of the geological sites and attractions. See book "Geotourism" by Ross Dowling at this site:

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