Well, circa 50 to 60 million years ago during the Paleocene, present-day County Antrim near Bushmills in Northern Ireland was intensely volcanic. Highly fluid molten basalt oozed through ancient chalk beds to form an extensive lava plateau. As it cooled, the material contracted causing fractures just as does drying mud with cracks propagating down as the mass cooled, leaving the pillar-like structures of the Giant’s Causeway (Clochán an Aifir or Clochán na bhFomhórach ). These pillars are also fractured into “biscuits”. The extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today. Here’s a shot I took on my second trip to this natural wonder in 2006.
Venture was part of a scientific fact-finding trip to Queen’s University Belfast back in October 2006 to meet bongo-playing chemist AP de Silva and his colleagues.
Fans of the rock group Led Zeppelin will know the place from the infamous cover their album Houses of the Holy.