Giants Causeway Facts
- Firstly, the attention-grabbing term Giants Causeway names one of the most remarkable geological feature. Due to its truly incredible nature, and not at all surprisingly, it drew the interest of UNESCO. The organization subsequently declared the location a World Heritage Site in 1986.
- Secondly, the impressive term serves as the name of an incredible conglomeration of roughly 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. These rather surprising features actually occurred naturally. In fact, they formed due to the actions of an ancient volcanic eruption.
- Furthermore, the upper portions of the numerous columns form a natural stepping stone pattern. Almost as if Nature planned it that way, these lead from the base of a cliff, only to vanish under the sea. There, the astounding formation extends for a short distance before coming to an end.
Giants Causeway Physical Description
Perhaps most notably of all, the majority of the columns of the Giants Causeway have a astounding hexagonal shape. However, some of the fabulous natural columns possess four, five, seven, or, for a few, even eight sides.
In addition, the various columns also range in total height. This only serves to add to the distinctiveness of the formation. But amazingly, the tallest of the many columns measures roughly an astounding 39 ft (12 m) in height.
Yet, as mesmerizing as the columns themselves are, they do not represent the only impressive feature of the site. That’s because the solidified lava flow in the cliffs, from which these formed long ago, measures nearly an astounding 92 ft (28 m) thick in some areas.
Giants Causeway Location, Formation, and Geology
Specifically, the truly quite remarkable Giants Causeway lies situated on the northeastern coast of Northern Ireland, in Europe. As a result of its unique nature, Ireland subsequently declared the site a National Nature Reserve, in 1987.
Furthermore, the unique geology of the Giants Causeway originally formed during the Paleogene Period. This action occurred between 50-60 million years ago. In this distant time, the region routinely experienced rather intense volcanic activity.
As a result of great pressure, molten lava protruded through extensive chalk beds. This action then formed a large plateau of lava. As it cooled, contraction then occurred. This process was similar to what occurs in drying mud, and the contraction occurred in both a horizontal and a vertical manner.
This lengthy process created countless fractures, creating the pillars of the Giants Causeway. The size of the individual columns depended on the speed at which the lava in that particular spot cooled.
Subsequent erosion then formed numerous unique structures. Some of these also possess names based on their supposed resemblance to other objects, with two notables being the Giants Boot and the Chimney Stacks.