Ireland is often seen as a land of magic and mystery thanks to the island nation’s history and the legacies of the ancient civilizations who have made Ireland their home. The most well-known of these, the Iron Age Celtic people, had a rich mythology and belief system full of legends and magical symbols. Many Celtic symbols and stories have worked their way into Irish popular culture and can still be seen today. One of the more ubiquitous and enduring symbols, the Celtic cross, has been found throughout Irish architecture and religious artifacts for centuries.
Now, Irish news outlet UTV has reported the discovery of a previously unknown giant Celtic cross in the middle of a thick forest in county Donegal near the City of Derry. The cross measures 100 meters long by 70 meters wide (~330 ft x 230 ft) and is composed of trees of a different species than the surrounding forest.
Sightings of the cross of the cross were initially reported by plane passengers flying into the nearby City of Derry Airport, but its precise location could not be determined. However, this month drone footage of the cross was posted to YouTube by filmmaker Darren Sheaffer, who spotted the ancient symbol while filming a project nearby.
While initial reports of the cross indicated that its source was a mystery, the Irish Post has since reported that the cross was created by Liam Emmery, a local forester. His wife, Norma Emmery, told UTV that her husband would have enjoyed the attention his cross has gotten since going viral:
If he was here, we would have all heard about it because he would have been so proud. He just loved things to be perfect. And I think the Celtic Cross is perfect for him.
The exact origins of the Celtic cross are unknown. It is believed that the ring in the center could stand for the ancient Roman sun god Invictus, although some Christian legends assert the ring is a halo representing Jesus. However, given that some have seen the Celtic cross in photographs of Martian soil, there is always the possibility that the cross could have an extraterrestrial origin. But let’s not break out the tin foil hats just yet.