THE 85-year-old grandad whose rock map of Scotland went viral on social media has said he would love to see it painted as a mural.

Harry Young completed his 28-year project to create a geologically accurate map of mainland Scotland from rocks in 2020.

However, the project wasn’t framed until his 85th birthday celebrations last week – a gift from his family.

Young’s grandson, also named Harry, then posted the picture on Twitter/X to draw attention to the achievement. He wrote: "My grandpa who is 85 started making this rock map of Scotland in 1992. He collected rocks during amateur geology trips over 30 years.

"He says it had to be geologically correct and also aesthetically pleasing. He asked if I could share online as he wants to go viral so please share."

It has now been viewed more than 2.6 million times and garnered thousands of likes and comments.

Speaking to the National, the older Young said he had "started around 1992".

“I got interested in geology because I worked with the Clyde River Purification Board at that time," he went on.

“I was in the hydrology department measuring rivers and rainfall and this member of staff – she was a hydrogeologist – came back from America and gave me some fossils.

“She kind of inspired me into geology.”

Young then joined the Geology Society of Glasgow and began taking field trips with its members in the summer.

He said: “At that time it was okay picking up rocks and bringing them back home. They frown on it now, of course.

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“But I had never seen a map done with all the rocks of Scotland and I thought ‘Well, I’m going to start that’.

“Of course, I intended to go to every place and see it and pick the rocks myself. That’s why it took so long!”

Over the years Young’s travels to collect rocks for his map were undertaken with characteristic good humour and an awareness that amateur geology doesn’t tend to be a young man’s game.

“I did a summer school in Aberdeen once and we went around Aberdeenshire visiting all these different sites. Of course, it was mostly mature students.

“At one spot we bumped into a group of Germans who asked what we were studying.

“When we told him geology, he said: ‘I see you’ve brought the fossils with you!’”

The National: Harry JefferiesHarry Jefferies (Image: Harry Jefferies)

Young said the reaction to his work has been “absurd” and that he appreciated the praise coming from professional geologists.

“It’s crazy. It’s absolutely absurd. But people like it! The comments are really nice.

“One woman said her husband has been teaching geology for 38 years and he was blown away by it and wished that he’d done it himself.

“I’m only an amateur so it’s nice to hear that. I did try to get all the fault lines in the right places and with the rights rocks and I think you can see that.

“However, I also wanted it look like a nice collage. I’ve achieved both, hopefully.

“I have thought about donating it to the Hunterian Museum as I did some classes at the University of Glasgow.

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“But my vision was one of those murals there doing on Glasgow tenements now, like the Billy Connolly one.

“Just imagine that rock map scaled up and the whole of Scotland up the side of a building. That would be my vision for it.”

When asked whether he had plans to one day include Orkney and Shetland on the map, Young told The National that their exclusion was only due to their placement on official geological maps.

“I knew somebody would ask that!" he said. "I did my tracing from a geology map of Scotland and both Orkney and Shetland are insets on that map.

“I know the islanders hate being an inset, so I didn’t want to do it that way.

“If I had time I would do it as well. But as a wee boy across the road used to say to me when I talked about the map: ‘Harry, what if you die before you finish it?’

“As I say, I’m 85 so Orkney and Shetland may just go back to Norway one day!”