The mystery of the sea route known as “the footprint of the giant”.TranYen

Giant’s Causeway is a coastal area in County Altrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

This beach attracts many tourists and researchers because of its giant black basalt columns arranged neatly (an estimated 40,000 basalt columns interlocked with each other).

There has been much controversy surrounding the formation of these basalt columns.
There has been much controversy surrounding the formation of these basalt columns.

Researchers believe they were formed about 50 to 60 million years ago by volcanic eruptions during the Tertiary period.

Giant's Causeway is located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland.
Giant’s Causeway on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland is home to 40,000 neatly arranged basalt columns.

According to Northern Irish legend, the giant Finn McCool drove stone pillars into the sea to create a road that led all the way to Scotland. But Finn’s opponent, after being defeated on the way back, was afraid of being chased, so he destroyed the road. That’s why the road has the strange shape it has today.

In 2018, scientists came to a conclusion about how this spectacular natural formation was formed. The basalt columns were formed inside a lava flow that cooled at an unusual rate. When a small portion of the lava began to cool from the inside out, it contracted and fractured.

Many incredibly uniform hexagonal basalt columns were formed.
As one basalt column cools to ambient temperature and maintains its hexagonal shape, the other columns around it cool as well. This results in many incredibly uniform hexagonal basalt columns, creating the spectacular landscape of the Giant’s Causeway.

On the cliffs, the average height of the basalt columns in the Causeway is up to 100m.
On the cliffs, the average height of the basalt columns in the Causeway is up to 100m (from 30m to 150m), the diameter is about 45cm and the cross-section of the basalt columns is polygonal.

The end point of the Giant's Causeway.
The end point of the Giant’s Causeway.

The Giant’s Causeway is the finest example of the geological formation and origin of basalt columns. UNESCO listed the Giant’s Causeway and the Causeway Coast as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1986.

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