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Sunday, December 30, 2007

DAY9--PART 2

Sometimes good ole MotherNature really goes out of her way to WOW you, and that’s exactly what she does at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Take your pick at the explanation of this unbelievable phenomenon.

(briefly) Once upon a time, a giant, Finn McCool, falls in love with a woman across the sea. He throws stones to create a causeway and goes to see her. Her husband, Benandonner, an even bigger giant, finds out. Finn, who is no dummy, scurries back across the causeway. His wife hides him in their baby giant’s cradle--cap, pacifier and all. Meanwhile, the irate husband follows Finn over the causeway and demands his whereabouts from Finn’s wife. But when he sees the cradle and the size of the baby within, he decides that Finn might be more than he wishes to tackle, and he makes a hasty exit. He wants to assure that Finn does not come after him (and his wife), so as he crosses, he destroys the causeway, and what we view today is all that is left.
(also briefly) Geophysically, 60 million years ago as the continental plates moved apart, lava flowed into the cracks. As there was no volcanic activity for a long while, the lava cooled slowly. About 15.000 years ago after the ice age, the Causeway was exposed. As it continued to cool, the surface dried evenly in columns, like drying mud. There are approximately 40,000 columns, most five or six sided though some are four, seven or even eight sided.

Whichever version you choose, Giant’s causeway is a sight to behold. From the 1700s it was widely known as the eighth wonder of the world. Nature was surely working her marvels here in Northern Ireland.
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