Since records began, no hurricane in the Atlantic had ever moved as far east as Storm Ophelia. Indeed, it battered the coasts of England and Ireland in October 2017. And in the wake of the terrible weather it brought, something amazing was spotted on the shores of the south-eastern tip of the Emerald Isle. Something, in fact, that may turn out to be as much as a millennium old.
The 2017 storm season in the Atlantic was an incredibly busy one. Ophelia was in fact the sixth significant hurricane to come off the ocean since the start of the year. It began around October 6, caused by the remnants of a cold front. And over the next two weeks it caused havoc almost everywhere that it made landfall.
Ophelia subsequently hit the Republic of Ireland on October 16. In the days prior to its arrival, the Irish government had upgraded its warning level to red, which indicated that the danger facing the country was severe. And it was right to do so. Even though Ophelia was declassified from a hurricane to a storm before landfall, it still brought with it the most powerful gales that Ireland had ever seen.