THE churning water rears and foams and then drops away as if a plug has suddenly been pulled from the rocky confines in which it had become trapped.
The rectangular hollow on a fossil-covered limestone outcrop looks as if has been hewn by hand to create a swimming pool, but it is a natural feature on the Atlantic shoreline of Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands.
Poll na bPéist is translated on the signs that guide visitors to it as ‘The Wormhole’; however, on some maps it is named ‘The Serpent’s Lair’.
‘Poll’ is an Irish word for hole which can also be used to describe an animal’s lair while ‘péist’ can mean worm, serpent or even monster, so both translations are valid.
While the idea of a serpent’s or monster’s lair is more evocative, the word wormhole also has intriguing connotations – describing the underground channels through which the currents surge and retreat from the open…