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  • On the coast of Northern Ireland,

  • a vast plateau of basalt slabs and columns

  • called the Giant's Causeway

  • stretches into the ocean.

  • The scientific explanation for this

  • is that it's the result of molten lava contracting and fracturing

  • as it cooled in the wake of a volcanic eruption.

  • But an ancient Irish myth has a different accounting.

  • According to legend,

  • the giant Finn MacCool lived happily on the North Antrim coast

  • with his wife Oonagh.

  • Their only disturbance came from the taunts and threats

  • of the giant Benandonner,

  • or the red man, who lived across the sea in Scotland.

  • The two roared insults and hurled rocks at each other

  • in dramatic shows of strength.

  • Once, Finn tore up a great clump of land and heaved it at his rival,

  • but it fell short of reaching land.

  • Instead, the clump became the Isle of Man,

  • and the crater left from the disturbed earth filled with water

  • to become Lough Neagh.

  • The giants' tough talk continued,

  • until one day Benandonner challenged Finn to a fight, face to face.

  • And so the Irish giant tossed enough boulders into the sea

  • to create a bridge of stepping stones to the Scottish coast.

  • Finn marched across in a fit of rage.

  • When Scotland loomed before him,

  • he made out the figure of Benandonner from afar.

  • Finn was a substantial size,

  • but at the sight of his colossal enemy thundering towards him,

  • his courage faltered.

  • With one look at Benandonner's thick neck and crushing fists, Finn turned and ran.

  • Back home, with Benandonner fast approaching,

  • Finn trembled as he described his enemy's bulk to Oonagh.

  • They knew that if he faced Benandonner head on,

  • he'd be crushed.

  • And so Oonagh hatched a cunning plan -

  • they needed to create an illusion of size,

  • to suggest Finn was a mountain of a man whilst keeping him out of sight.

  • As Benandonner neared the end of the bridge,

  • Oonagh stuffed her husband in a huge cradle.

  • Disguised as an enormous baby,

  • Finn lay quiet as Benandonnner pounded on the door.

  • The house shook as he stepped inside.

  • Oonagh told the enraged visitor that her husband wasn't home,

  • but welcomed him to sit and eat while he waited.

  • When Benandonner tore into the cakes placed before him,

  • he cried out in pain

  • for he'd shattered his teeth on the metal Oonagh had concealed inside.

  • She told him that this was Finn's favorite bread,

  • sewing a seed of doubt in Benandonner's mind

  • that he was any match for his rival.

  • When Finn let out a squawk,

  • Benandonner's attention was drawn to the gigantic baby in the corner.

  • So hefty was the infant swaddled under piles of blankets,

  • Benandonner shuddered at the thought of what the father would look like.

  • He decided he'd rather not find out.

  • As he fled, Benandonner tore up the rocks connecting the shores,

  • breaking up the causeway.

  • What remains are two identical rock formations:

  • one on the North Antrim coast of Ireland

  • and one at Fingal's Cave in Scotland, right across the sea.

On the coast of Northern Ireland,

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B2 US TED-Ed finn giant scotland coast tore

The Irish myth of the Giant's Causeway - Iseult Gillespie

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    gotony5614.me97 posted on 2018/06/13
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