Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The causeway was formed about sixty-two million years ago over a long period of igneous activity when this whole area would have been situated in an equatorial region, experiencing hot and humid conditions. The unique sprawl of hexagonal basalt columns that make up the Giant’s Causeway was formed when lava broke through the earth’s crust and cooled rapidly as it hit the sea. The fascinating patterns in the causeway stones formed as a result of rock crystallization under conditions of accelerated cooling, which usually occurs when molten lava comes into immediate contact with water and the resulting fast accelerated cooling process causes cracking and patterns.
There is a uniformity to the patterns that confused people for a long time and before the geological process that formed the causeway was fully understood some were convinced that it was the result of the labours of an earlier civilization that had built a sort of paved highway across the sea to Scotland. What made this credible for them was that the same rock formations occur at Flingal’s Cave across the water.