About an hour and twenty minutes north of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a natural phenomenon comprising some 40,000 basalt columns that are mainly hexagonal. They are located together at the shoreline.
There are two theories as to how this site was formed: one is scientific and the other is Irish Folklore.
Eleanor Killough, the Learning and Visitor Experience Manager at the Giant’s Causeway National Trust, explains the scientific theory: “The Giant’s Causeway is the aftermath of volcanic crashing, burning and cooling. An epic 60-million-year-old legacy to lava. Over 40,000 basalt columns. Interlocked. It’s no wonder this place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because beyond the mind boggling beauty, the Causeway is our portal into Earth’s most ancient past.”
My favorite? Of course the legend of Finn McCool (also known as Fionn Mac Cumhaill or Fionn Mac Cool)!
Here’s how it goes:
“Once upon a time, there was a mythological Irish giant called Finn McCool who got himself into a spot of trouble with a high-tempered Scottish giant called Benandonner who had made a claim for Finn’s island of Ireland. Enraged at Bennandonnar’s claim to Ireland, the giant Finn McCool starts angrily throwing boulders into the sea off the Antrim coastline in Northern Ireland. Inspired by the way they fell into the water, Finn decided to use his boulders to make a bridge or a causeway – a Giant’s Causeway – all the way to Scotland’s Isla of Staffa.
Using his causeway to Scotland, he could challenge his rival to a proper duel over the fate of Ireland. In a mythical world where size dictates winners and losers, Finn realises he has underestimated his enemy – Benandonner is giant even for a giant! Brute force won’t work on him – so Finn quickly returns to Ireland via his Giant Causeway and decides the best way to beat Benandonner is to con him.
Leaving the Giant’s Causeway for Benandonner to find, Finn McCool’s wife disguises him as a baby. When his rival arrives, he finds Finn’s wife, Sadhbh, tending her enormous baby giant. Realising that if Finn’s child was this big, Finn himself must be huge!
The Scottish giant Benandonnar hurries away, retreating back to Scotland with his tail between his legs. As he hurries home, he frantically tears away bits of the causeway, severing all ties between Scotland and Ireland to prevent Fionn McCool following him as he retreats to the Fingal’s Cave on the Isla of Staffa.”
That is how the legend of how the Giant’s Causeway was born. Amazing right?!
Which story do you believe?!