The Giant’s Causeway is an area along the coast of Northern Ireland where up to 40 thousand pillars of black basalt rise up from the sea. These basalts formed as a result of intense volcanic activity during the Paleocene, approximately 50 – 60 million years ago. The pillars obtained their characteristic, mostly hexagonal shape through contraction and horizontal fracturing after cooling of the lava plateau. According to legends, giants walked over these rocks to cross the sea.
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Information source: UNESCO World Heritage Convention
Image: Basalt pillars of the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Credit: Jal74, Wikimedia Commons.