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Giant's Causeway Natural Place
 

County

Antrim

Coordinates

N 55° 14' 22.3"   W 006° 30' 50.5"

Nearest town

Bushmills

Grid Ref.

C 94512 44611

Map No.

4

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

1

Date of visit

Sunday 14 September 2003

GPS Accuracy (m)

7
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This formation is called "The Organ" because its tall columns resemble the pipes of an organ.


This beauty of nature is the result of a volcanic eruption occurred in this area around 55 millions years ago. The lava from the eruption flowed towards the North Sea and cooled down rapidly, solidified and cracked in vertical direction, creating thousands of nearly hexagonal basalt columns.
It seems there are about 40,000 columns, with thickness up to about 30 metres, and so close to each other that a knife couldn't be inserted between two adjacent columns.
The place is magic and amazing. Unfortunately it's a great attraction, maybe the most popular attractions in Northern Ireland, so it's close to impossible to visit this place without other people around.
The first time we came here was on December 5th, 1995 and we were completely alone. This time was a totally different story.
The coast with this natural wonder points north, and the cliffs behind it are very high, so the sunlight can hardly reach the place.
Many columns of the causeway have grouped together to resemble some man-made objects, and have been named accordingly, like the Organ, the Honeycomb or the Chimney Stack.
According to the legend, the Irish warrior and giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill built the causeway to walk to Scotland and fight his Scottish enemy Benandonner. After finishing the job and before going to Scotland, Fionn fell asleep. Benandonner, who was much bigger, learned about Fionn's coming but when he didn't see him arrive he crossed the bridge and looked for him. Fionn's wife Oonagh laid a blanket over his husband to protect him and when Benandonner saw Fionn he thought he was his baby son. He saw his size and thought that his father could have been gigantic indeed and so Benandonner fled home in terror, ripping up the Causeway in case he was followed by Fionn. There are similar formations at the Fingal's Cave, on the isle of Staffa, in Scotland, thus giving strength to the legend.


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