In the Steps of Giants, on Ireland’s Giant’s Embankment

Found on the Northern coastline of North Ireland, in Region Antrim, the Titan’s Embankment appears like a big sidewalk of extremely tall and hexagonal steppingstones. According to tale, titans used this unusual geological feature to cross over from Scotland. (By the way, a “embankment” is a roadway that stumbles upon or alongside a body of water.)

Yet what is this strange area, as well as just how did it create? It’s a very unusual basalt formation that created over three major durations of activity, according to rock hounds. The initial started during the Tertiary Period concerning 60 million years earlier, when this parcel was located farther southern as well as a lot closer to the land mass we currently call North America– before plate tectonics moved it up to the North Sea.

As the Earth’s crust shifted as well as altered, lava moved up from deep within. Lava is a mix of molten rock, solids, and also unpredictable substances when it’s listed below the earth’s surface area. When it strikes air– like when a volcano appears– we call it lava, and when this magma turned into lava it cooled and also created lava.

A period of calm followed, lasting numerous thousands of years. The following time lava gushed forth on this area, it formed a large swimming pool. As the more recent lava slowly cooled down, extremely regular cracks showed up, creating the hexagonal forms we see today. Similar results can be seen at areas in Scotland (such as Fingal’s Collapse Staffa) and in other places in Ireland.

A third lava event covered these tone up, but after numerous years, disintegration brought on by wind as well as water laid bare the unusual frameworks. They have to do with 18 inches large and also nearly all are hexagonal, or six-sided. It’s estimated that we can see about 40,000 of these hexagons.

Today, the Giant’s Embankment is not only a major traveler attraction and also UNESCO Globe Heritage website, it assists rock hounds much better comprehend our world’s geological history.

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