The Giant’s Causeway, the 173 acres of hexagonal basalt columns that hug the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland, has long been a source of wonder and mystery. How could nature have formed such perfect geometry? Scientists finally have the answer.
For centuries, the prevailing legend surrounding the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland was that Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool), the mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology associated with the Fenian cycle, was behind the causeway’s existence, constructing it to reach his arch-rival, a giant named Benandonner, also known as the Red Man, who was believed to roam Scotland.
In the modern age, scientists have been able to attribute the formation of the 40,000 interlocking columns – a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986 – to volcanic eruptions some 50 or 60 million years ago. However, the mystery behind their nearly perfect hexagonal shape has persisted.
Until now, that is.
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