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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Travel To Do- Giant's Causeway, Ireland

As always, this idea was spurred by Bing my wonderful, favorite search engine.  I was on the Internet to look up something totally different but when I got to Bing this was today's background image and it got me to wondering... where and what.
When I clicked on the picture I learned that this was the Giant's Causeway in North Ireland an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption that happened over 50 million years ago. It is located in County Antrim , on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland , about two miles (3 km) north of the town of Bushmills . It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and a National Nature Reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland . In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giant's Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom . The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea.

Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 12 meters (36 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 meters thick in places. The Giant's Causeway is today owned and managed by the National Trust and it is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland .

How they formed: When highly fluid molten basalt intruded through chalk beds to form an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled rapidly, contraction occurred. While contraction in the vertical direction reduced the flow thickness (without fracturing), horizontal contraction could only be accommodated by cracking throughout the flow. The size of the columns is primarily determined by the speed at which lava from a volcanic eruption cools[5]. The extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today. The basalts were originally part of a great volcanic plateau called the Thulean Plateau which formed during the Paleogene period.  If you are ever are in any of these other places there are similar sites like this one that you can visit: the Prismas Basálticos in Hidalgo, Mexico, the Los Tercios waterfall in Suchitoto, El Salvador, Fingal's Cave and the 'Kilt Rock' on Skye in Scotland, east coast of Suðuroy, the Faroes, Svartifoss in Iceland, Jusangjeolli in South Korea, the Garni gorge in Armenia, the Cyclopean Isles near Sicily, Devils Postpile National Monument in California, Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, the Organ Pipes National Park just outside of Melbourne, Australia, the "Organ Pipes" formation on Mount Cargill in New Zealand, the "Rocha dos Bordões" formation in Flores, the Azores, near Twyfelfontein in Namibia, Gành Đá Đĩa in Vietnam,[15] Cape Stolbchatiy in Russia, Coloanele de bazalt in Racoş, Romania, Fingal Head in New South Wales, Australia, the Hong Kong National Geopark in High Island Reservoir in Hong Kong, China, and on St. Mary's Islands on the west coast of India and in Riyom, Nigeria.

Ok now that you have had your history lesson isn't that interesting? I have never seen or even heard of anything like this but then again I'm not a big geology buff either.  While I was reading up on Giant's Causeway I thought I could make this a weekly deal and seeing it is Tuesday and it's about travel I dubbed it Tuesday's Travel To Do. Each week I will post a new spot that is a must when making or adding onto my travel list. It may be a country, attraction, site, or some other random cool thing but I promise they will be equally interesting and as off the grid as this one.  I would have never thought that Ireland would be on my travel list because when I think of Ireland I think of rolling green hills and that's about it but apparently there's more there than I thought. Plus one of my friends traveled there a year or two ago and reported back that the guys there are smoking hot. LOL

*I got all my facts about Giant's Causeway from Wikipedia*

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to know that how these eye-catching bricks are formed around the cliffs. It is easy to understand the theory behind this phenomenon with the help of the information you shared. It can easily attract the tourists towards themselves.


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