Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/244

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ochre-bed or chalk. They are plainly artificial in their present form. The peculiar Gothic door-way and the sheltered approach strengthen the view that they bear a distinct relation to an ancient civilization, and that it is not by accident that adjacent cliffs are crowned with castles, neighboring mines were worked from unknown periods, beacon-rocks bear mythological names, and manuscripts refer to maritime expeditions to the Baltic and Mediterranean. It seemed antecedently possible that the same race, Kelto-Iberian, Wend, or Phœnician, which had formed harbors on the coast of Ireland, might also have been the active agent in that perforation which has been termed the most remarkable in Europe. This conjecture received strong and unexpected confirmation. It was submitted to rigid examination; it was strengthened by opposition. It has been adopted, by a considerable number of eminent men, as a far stronger prima facie case than that commonly stated by the text-books in favor of marine erosion. If not well founded, it still suggests difficulties which have escaped observation, and may also correct the inaccurate terms in which Fingal's Cave has been described, and the imperfect representations which have gone far to perpetuate the hasty conclusion of Sir Joseph Banks.

Fingal's Cave is not at the Giants' Causeway. It is in the southern end of the Island of Staffa, whose apparent size and position are necessarily exaggerated on the maps in common use. It is not "off the

PSM V22 D244 Location of fingals cave south scotland.jpg
Fig. 1.—From the Admiralty Chart of Loch Tuadh.

southwest coast of Scotland." It is deeply embayed in a large sinuosity formed by the Island of Mull, and nearly inclosed on the opposite side by Iona and the Treshnish Islands. Beyond the latter a second line is drawn by Tiree and Coll, while to the north but to a greater distance are placed the islands of Minch, Rum, Eigg, and Canna. The