Fingal,s Cave, Isle of Staffa, Inner Hebrides, Scotland also known as An Uaimh Bhinn or" the melodious cave".
Contributor:Lars Ørstavik / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:26.3 MB (1.7 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:3710 x 2476 px | 31.4 x 21 cm | 12.4 x 8.3 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:29 July 2012
Location:Staffa, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Fingal's Cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, known for its natural acoustics. The National Trust for Scotland owns the cave as part of a National Nature Reserve. It became known as Fingal's Cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James McPherson. Basalt columns inside Fingal's Cave Fingal's Cave is formed entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns within a Paleocene lava flow, similar in structure to the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland and those of nearby Ulva. In all these cases, cooling on the upper and lower surfaces of the solidified lava resulted in contraction and fracturing, starting in a blocky tetragonal pattern and transitioning to a regular hexagonal fracture pattern with fractures perpendicular to the cooling surfaces. As cooling continued these cracks gradually extended toward the centre of the flow, forming the long hexagonal columns we see in the wave-eroded cross-section today. Similar hexagonal fracture patterns are found in desiccation cracks in mud where contraction is due to loss of water instead of cooling. Acoustics The cave's size and naturally arched roof, and the eerie sounds produced by the echoes of waves, give it the atmosphere of a natural cathedral. The cave's Gaelic name, An Uaimh Bhinn, means "the melodious cave." In art and literature Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn visited in 1829 and wrote an overture, The Hebrides, Op. 26, (also known as Fingal's Cave overture), inspired by the weird echoes in the cave. Mendelssohn's overture popularized the cave as a tourist destination. Other famous 19th-century visitors included author Jules Verne, who used it in his book Le Rayon vert (The Green Ray), and mentions it in the novels Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mysterious Island(Wikipedia)