Cliffs of Moher

22 Apr

The Cliffs of Moher are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. They rise 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and reach their maximum height 702 feet. The cliffs receive almost one million visitors a year. The cliffs take their name from an old fort called Moher that once stood on Hag’s Head, the most southern point of the cliffs. The cliffs consist mainly of beds of Namurian shale and sandstone, with the oldest rocks being found at the bottom of the cliffs. It is possible to see 300 million year-old river channels cutting through, forming unconformities at the base of the cliffs.

There are an estimated 30,000 birds living on the cliffs, representing more than 20 species. These include Atlantic Puffins, which live in large colonies at isolated parts of the cliffs and on the small Goat Island. Also present are hawks, gulls, guillemots, shags, ravens and choughs.

The Cliffs of Moher have appeared in numerous forms of media. In cinema, the cliffs have appeared in several films, such as The Princess Bride in 1987 as the filming location for “The Cliffs of Insanity”, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2007 when they go on search for one of the Horcruxes , and Leap Year in 2010. The cliffs are mentioned in the Martin Scorsese film Bringing Out the Dead in 1999, and are noted in the 2008 documentary Waveriders as the location of a large surfing wave known as “Aileens”.

In music, the cliffs have appeared in music videos, including Maroon 5’s “Runaway” video,  Westlife’s “My Love”, and Rich Mullins’ “The Color Green”. Most of singer Dusty Springfield’s ashes were scattered at the cliffs by her brother, Tom.

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