Chatham Islands: Basalt Columns

Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is world famous – a spectacular display of columnar basalt. In Ireland, they think it’s the only place in the world like that. But interestingly, columnar basalt displays like this are quite common and I’ve probably seen them over two dozen times from Kuril Islands in Russia to Iceland to Chile and so on. Columnar basalt is formed when hot basaltic lava cools into 5-7 sides but mostly hexagonal columns. When people on Chatham told me they had “the only other Giants Causeway” in the world, I had to politely tell them they were full of $&@!. That little inaccuracy aside, the basalt columns on the Chatham island are quite expansive and spectacular, descending into the pounding waves of the Pacific Ocean. But best part of all, there is a human being in sight, and you can have the entire basalt column all to yourself.