The Giant's Causeway :: Shared Description

The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40000 interlocking basalt columns, in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. The columns where formed by ancient volcanic activity during the Paleocene Epoch when highly fluid molten basalt intruded through chalk beds to form an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled, contraction occurred which caused fracturing in similar way to drying mud, with the cracks propagating down as the mass cooled, leaving the distinctive columns seen today.

The name “Giant’s Causeway” comes from the legend that the columns are the remains of a causeway built by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), across the North Channel (LinkExternal link My Secret Northern Ireland). There are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) across the channel at Fingal's Cave on the island of Staffa, and it is possible that the story was influenced by this.

The site first became popular with tourists during the nineteenth century, particularly after the opening of the Giant's Causeway Tramway. The area 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. Much of the Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site is owned and managed by the National Trust, who took over its care in the 1960s, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. The remainder of the site is owned by the Crown Estate and a number of private landowners.

LinkExternal link UNESCO World Heritage List
LinkExternal link National Trust
by David Dixon
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18 images use this description:

C9444 : Giant's Causeway, Port Noffer and Port Granny by David Dixon
C9545 : Causeway Coast, Port Reostan by David Dixon
C9544 : Causeway Coast, Port Noffer and Sea Gull Isle by David Dixon
C9444 : Giant's Causeway, Shuttle Bus from the National Trust Visitor Centre by David Dixon
C9443 : The Causeway Hotel by David Dixon
C9545 : Causeway Coast, Cliff Path at Port Reostan by David Dixon
C9443 : Shuttle Bus at the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre by David Dixon
C9545 : Rock Stack on Sea Gull Island by David Dixon
C9444 : Basalt Columns, The Giant's Causeway by David Dixon
C9544 : Giant's Causeway, The Organ Pipes by David Dixon
C9444 : Causeway Coast, Port Noffer by David Dixon
C9444 : The Giant's Causeway by David Dixon
C9444 : Port Noffer and The Giant's Causeway by David Dixon
C9545 : Causeway Coast, Port Reostan and Lacada Point by David Dixon
C9545 : Causeway Coast, Sea Gull Isle by David Dixon
C9444 : Causeway Coast, The Giant's Causeway by David Dixon
C9444 : Shuttle Bus Arriving at The Giant's Causeway by David Dixon
C9444 : Causeway Coast, Portnaboe and The Camel's Back by David Dixon


These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Tue, 17 Oct 2017, Updated: Tue, 17 Oct 2017

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2017 David Dixon, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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