The Giants Causeway has attracted visitors year after year, dazzling with it’s myths, legends, and science! Whether you are interested in the natural sciences, or a good old fashioned Irish story, the Giants Causeway is a must-see!
Geological evidence suggests that the Giants Causeway was formed by the aftermath of an ancient volcano. Sixty five million years ago, Co Antrim experienced intense volcanic activity, when fluid molten basalt broke apart chalk beds to form what is now known as the Antrim plateau. When the molten lava hit the seawater, it cooled quickly and formed the famous basalt columns. There were three periods of volcanic activity which resulted in the flows known as the lower, upper and middle basalts, which can now be seen in the cliff faces. The similar basalt formations at the site of Fingal’s Cave on Staffa are part of the same lava flow which began in Antrim.
Finn MacCool, was no ordinary giant. He was the biggest and the strongest giant in all Ireland. His voice could be heard for miles around. He was so strong that he could lift a hundred men in one of his enormous hands. Finn lived with his wife in the hills of County Antrim.
One day a messenger came to Finn’s castle. He had come all the way from Scotland with news for Finn. The messenger told Finn that a Scottish giant called Benandonner wanted to fight him. Benandonner wanted to show that he was stronger than any giant in Ireland. Finn had never seen Benandonner before, but he knew that he was the biggest giant in Scotland. Finn was not afraid.
The next day, Finn began to build a path across the sea to Scotland. This path was called the causeway. It was made of thousands of rocks. Finn built many miles of the causeway with his great hands. When Benandonner heard about Finn’s causeway, he decided to build the Scottish end of the causeway himself. For weeks the two giants worked hard at building the causeway.
One morning Finn was in the forest near his castle. He saw his wife coming towards him. He ran over to her.
She said to him, “I have heard that Benandonner is the biggest and the strongest giant in all the world. He is twice as big as you and twice as strong!” Finn was very worried. “I cannot fight a giant that is twice my size!”
Finn and his wife worked through the night. They cut the blankets and made giant baby clothes. Finn put on the baby clothes and got into the giant cradle.
At sunrise the next morning, Benandonner arrived. He asked if Finn was home. His wife told Angus that he was gone for a walk and that he would be back soon. She invited him in. It was not long before Benandonner heard a cry. He asked whom it was, pointing to the cradle.Finn’s wife explained, “That’s young Finn, our baby.”
Benandonner thought that if this is the size of their baby, how big could Finn be? Then he ran out of the castle as fast as he could. He ran across the causeway, trampling the stones, and did not stop until he reached his country. He was afraid that Finn might follow him!
Today, if you go to County Antrim, you can still see a small piece of the remaining causeway. It is called the Giants Causeway, because it was built by Finn Mac Cool, the most famous giant in the history of Ireland.