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The Story of the Great Flood, a Strange Co-incidence?
In the Bible we have the story of Noah’s ark in which God punishes mankind for his wickedness by bringing forth a great flood which would destroy all life on Earth. God chose to save one man and his family to repopulate the world with righteous people and also to gather a male and female specimen of all animals, again to repopulate but this time the animal world. To accomplish this, God instructed Noah to build a huge ark that could accommodate his family and all the animals. After Noah had built the ark, it rained for 40 days and nights and all the land was flooded while Noah’s ark drifted in the flood water. When the rain had stopped, the ark found land on the top of Mt. Ararat.
There are many stories in a variety of cultures and traditions of great floods occurring. However, there is one that is so uncannily similar that it raises several questions as to why it is so. In Greek mythology, there is a myth about a great flood in which Zeus, a very long time ago decided that human beings had become evil and didn’t show him the proper respect that he deserved. In retaliation, to this outrage he opened up the heavens and torrential rain fell in sheets, flooding all areas so that the human race would be wiped out completely. Prometheus, a titan who wanted to protect and help mankind, foresaw all that Zeus had in mind and told his son Deucalion that he had to save himself. To save himself and his wife, Deucalion made a ship and took every kind of animal in the animal kingdom with him, given that they were useful to mankind. After the flood that Zeus had induced, all of humanity drowned except for this couple. When the rain had finally subsided, the ship reached solid ground on the top of Mount Parnassus, which is near Athens. After Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha got off their ship, they gave thanks to Zeus for allowing them to live, which pleased Zeus and they received his blessing for creating a new generation of human beings.
Given the similarity of the two stories, can one explain why they are so similar? There is, of course, some scientific evidence to show that around 7,000 years ago, the Mediterranean Sea rushed into a channel, which is now known as the Bosphorus, and merged with a freshwater lake that already existed there. The sea water came in at a volume 200 times that of Niagara Falls and this lake then became a sea, The Black Sea. The Black Sea expanded its shoreline at a rate of roughly one mile per day, of course flooding all land areas near its edge. Evidence has been found that in these areas that were flooded, human settlements were present and that these settlements were mostly likely victims of this flood. Some believe that this may give some support to the belief that the story of Noah’s ark may be based on a real event given that Mt. Ararat is near the Black Sea.
However, the striking similarity between the Greek myth of a great flood and Noah’s ark may be more difficult to explain. How could they be so closely related? Is one just a carbon copy of the other? If it is so, why would it be so? These riddles, and many others, may never be answered.