Giant's Causeway - An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Northern Ireland

The Giant's Causeway is an area of outstanding natural beauty on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland. It is renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The Giant's Causeway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the whole Ireland.

The Giant's Causeway is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. It forms several miles of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal route. The Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it, for centuries. Geological studies of these formations over the last 300 years have greatly contributed to the development of the earth sciences.

The formation of the striking landscape of the Giant's Causeway was due to intense volcanic activity during some 50–60 million years ago. Three periods of volcanic activity gave rise to the Lower, Middle and Upper Basalts, and it's the Middle Basalt rock which forms the famous amphitheaters of hexagonal columns in the Causeway.

The Giant’s Causeway is steeped in myth and legend. According one of the most popular myths, it was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool, who had attempted to build a bridge linking Ireland to Scotland. The landscape became so imbued with the spirit of this myth that it gave rise to the name - Giant’s Causeway.

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