The Great Flood – Real, or a Myth?

February 12, 2016

The story of a “Great Flood” sent by God (or gods according to much earlier testimony) to destroy humanity for its sins is a widespread account shared by many religions and cultures around the world, and dates back to our earliest recorded history.

From India to ancient Greece, Mesopotamia and even among North American Indian tribes, there is no shortage of such tales that often enough sound very much alike. Some of these stories truly sound so similar that one could wonder whether all cultures around the planet had experienced such an event.

Can it be that all flood accounts so zealously repeated around the world are a collection of myths or isolated incidents, as the mainstream academia maintains? Or was the Great Flood a single worldwide cataclysm that affected all humanity at one point during our prehistory?

Cataclysm

While small, isolated disasters can stress and frighten affected populations equally, their overall effect is short-lived, and they often fade from memory within decades, if not years. In the case of the Great Flood, however, we have a story that seems to have no boundaries and one that every culture insists on its worldwide nature.

How big and how destructive though, must have been such a disaster that it managed to sear itself into our ancestors’ collective memory for thousands of years? Judging by the shared testimony, this must not only have been an event that affected everyone simultaneously, but in order for it to have become a permanent fixture in the human psyche, it must have been an experience that persisted not only for days or months, but for several generations.

The Rising Oceans

If not an isolated incident, though, what known worldwide catastrophe qualifies to be called the Great Flood? Without a doubt the significant rise of the oceans—a worldwide disaster that at the end of the last Ice Age erased millions of square miles of dry land around the planet—must have been the doomsday event every culture to this day inadvertently is talking about.

More particularly, it was the abrupt rise of the oceans around 8000 BC which ultimately led to the flooding of the Mediterranean first, and finally to the flooding of the Black Sea. (Note: Although in 1997 William Ryan and Walter Pitman suggested that the flood of the Black Sea took place around 5600 BC, a later study in 2005 sponsored by UNESCO confirmed that the incident took place much earlier in time and closer to 8000 BC).

he rise of the oceans was that single, long-lasting event which drastically reshaped the coastlines of our planet and the one which simultaneously affected every coastal civilization around the world at the time.

Even when at first look, the gradual rise of the oceans does not seem to meet the criteria as the event behind the legend of the Great Flood, an incident responsible for the sea level to rise globally by more than 400 feet, surely had many random episodes when the flooding was absolutely unpredictable. When considering that humans, by nature, tend to settle in lower elevations and near water, it leaves no doubt that all prehistoric civilizations were totally devastated by this event.

A recent study published in Science News (December 4, 2010) titled “Global Sea-Level Rise at the End of the Last Ice Age Interrupted by Rapid Jumps” better explains that after the end of the last ice age, from around 17000 BC through 4000 BC, sea levels (on average) rose by one meter (3.2 feet) per century.

However, the study also indicated that this gradual rise of the seas was marked by abrupt jumps of sea level at a rate of about five meters per century (16.4 feet). More precisely, the study showed that the periods between 13000 BC and 11000 BC, as well as between 9000 BC and 7000 BC, were characterized by abnormal sea-level rise.

When studying closer the abrupt climatic changes during the last 18,000 years, the time between 9000 BC and 7000 BC is of particular interest. As the glaciers began to melt over thousands of years prior to this period, and the temperatures progressively began to increase with each passing century, thus causing the melting process to accelerate, we can easily presume that this must have been the most active period in sea-level rise.

More accurately, the absolute worst period must have been the time around 8000 BC and the critical “flood cycle” that preceded the flooding of the Black Sea, which really marked the end of this violent period. (In fact, if past periodic ice ages and floods did not manage previously to add salinity into the fresh water of the Black Sea, then undoubtedly the last global flood around 8000 BC must have been the greatest flood of all time).

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