The Giant’s Causeway: Legend or Science?

Some 50 to 60 million years ago, volcanoes did their magic, like they always do, on the Northern coast of Ireland creating what we see now as the Giant’s Causeway. These are the 40,000 or so interlocking basalt columns scattered along the coast of Antrim. They were declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986 due to its unique geological formation.

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However, most Irish folks would like to believe in the alternative story of how they were formed. Legend says that an Irish giant, Finn McCool built this causeway so he can fight with the Scottish giant across the seas named Benandonner. When he realized that the other giant was much bigger than him, he asked his wife to help him. So his wife disguised him as a baby and put him in a cradle and dressed him in baby clothes. When Benandonner came over and saw this massive “baby”, he realized that its father could be even bigger, he ran back to Scotland and destroyed the causeway so that McCool couldn’t come get him. On the other side of the ocean, on Scottish shores, there lies the same basalt formations that stretches out to sea thereby backing up the story of the two giants.

The whole area is stunning with raw natural beauty. There was a visitor center which we skipped and went straight down to the coastline. It was about a 15 minute hike or you can take a free shuttle ride from the visitor center and back. We took our lunch with us and had a small picnic along the stones in a not so overcrowded spot. There are restaurants near the visitor center too but we were advised that they were on the expensive side. It was way better eating lunch out there as you soak in the breathtaking views.

There were LOTS of people and it can be a challenge getting your shots right but, this is a popular place so expect a huge crowd. Don’t worry, there was plenty of room for everyone! I also liked the fact that there were staff from the National Trust manning the site. As it was a windy day, it could be dangerous climbing up those rock formations.

Here they are up close and personal!

Most of these stones are hexagons, though some have five sides, maybe even more!

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Some are slabs and some are columns.

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Some are almost irregularly roundish and some are perfectly angular.

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Some have white spots and some are volcanic black.

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Some appear to be like pavers while some are in mounds.

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Some are stuck on the mountainside and some stretches out to sea.

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This whole day tour was made possible by Finn McCools tours of which we spent an hour and a half on the causeway. Of course, there were so many other companies to chose from. It really is up to you. I just happened to chose this one because aside from the good reviews, they have the best value for your money. There were other stops along the way too, each beautiful by their own right. You can also drive up there yourself and enjoy the scenic ride at your own pace.

So, which one are you most inclined to believe in?

Giants or science?

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