Fingal’s Cave Facts
- Fingal’s Cave represents a natural wonder that exemplifies the aura of mystery and magic often associated with Scotland and also remains a marvel of geology.
- It formed as a sea-cave found on the uninhabited island of Staffs (Staffordshire); part of the Inner Hebrides. Fingal’s Cave formed entirely from jointed hexagonal basalt columns and stays partially filled by the sea.
- The unique structure of the columns also formed as a result of cooling lava flows.
Fingal’s Cave Physical Characteristics
Fingal’s Cave possesses a rather large arched entrance, followed by a much narrower passage into the rest of the chamber. This large entrance measures nearly 66 ft ( 20 m) in height.
The cave itself has a width of about 40 ft (12 m). In addition, the floor of the cave remains covered in water to a depth of roughly 25 ft (7.6 m).
Due to its dimensions, the echoes produced by the waves create a cathedral effect that has been described as hauntingly beautiful.
Fingal’s Cave Formation and History
The incredible Fingal’s Cave formed entirely from a lava flow during the Paleocene Era. Experts believe that the same flow that formed the remarkable hexagonal basalt columns here also formed the Giant’s Causeway.
Among the most memorable sights in Europe, the uniquely shaped columns formed as the result of cracks that occurred during the cooling process.
It remains unclear when local residents first discovered the beautiful cave. However, it first came to the attention of the English-speaking world after being seen by naturalist Sir Joseph Banks in 1772.
The cave also now forms part of a National Nature Reserve and locals named it after the hero of an 18th-century poem.