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Did The Biblical Flood Really Happen?

Updated on April 25, 2012

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Flood Legends From Around The World

I recently read a few pieces of the classic literary piece “The Epic of Gilgamesh” and I found myself asking simply did this story take place, did the world encounter a huge disaster unlike any that had happened before or since. Many people believe this did in fact happen but if so, something like this would have been passed down though the generations, like the holocaust during World War II, which few living today actually saw but everyone knows is true, although some have recently actually tried to deny it already.

Could this flood have happened, is the story of Gilgamesh a historical fiction or is it just the work of an overactive imagination on a rainy day? We may never know, but let’s take a few moments to explore this a little more closely.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh the gods become tired of men. It goes so far as to state “The uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible by any reason of the babel.” The noise of mankind was making it impossible for the gods to sleep and so like an annoying alarm clock needed to be silenced once and for all. The story goes on further as the gods deciding to spare Gilgamesh and the seeds of each animal so that life would not be completely wiped out.

This story probably sounds very familiar with only the names changed. You are probably familiar with the story of Noah and the ark. It is a popular Biblical story that takes place in the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis in the Christian Bible and can also be found in the Hebrew Torah and believed my millions of Christians, Hebrews and Muslims around the world to be truth. So with respect for their beliefs I will travel lightly and carefully on this story.

God decides that he can no longer accept the wickedness of the days of Noah, to which no time frame is noted and is later believed to be written by Moses assumingly after he left Egypt and wondered around in the desert with the Israelites.

Moses goes on to explain the reasoning as “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” (Gen 6:5 NIV) God spared Noah whom the Bible states God found favor in. Noah was ordered to make a ship and then collect two of each kind of animal and together they would repopulate the Earth.

So here we have two very similar stories from actually very close locations geographically, it could be possible that one is just a copy of the other, names changed to fit in with the culture that it pertained to. It could have been a local flood, if it happened at all. A local flood would explain it perfectly except for the multiple other references to the flood that take place throughout the world, legends and stories passed down happening on all continents from the Eskimos in Alaska to the Aborigines of Australia.

In the book Moons, Myths and Men author H.S. Bellamy estimates that altogether there are about 500 legends of a terrible flood worldwide. Many share similar aspects, lets look at the Aborigines of Australia first, the flood there is considered the Dreamlike Flood, as it must have seemed like a nightmare to those who experienced it, upon the water rode the Woramba, a ship which carried men and animals and came to rest in the plains of Djilinbadu.

Let’s travel next to South America where the Incas also have a flood story, this one varies from the others in the form that a few of the Incas received their warnings from Llamas who in turn received their warning from the gods. They were warned to seek high ground and so the llama and some of the Incas headed for caves high in the mountain tops, there they waited until the storms passed, the flood waters receded and they went back down into the valleys, the llamas although forever feared the valleys and were to spend the rest of their days on the mountain tops just in case a new flood was to come.

In North America there is a legend from the Ojibwe tribe that states that Gitchie Manido (their deity) flooded the world because of family strife and village warfare. Waynaboozhoo was saved by floating on a log with various animals, so once again not all life would be lost.

These are just some of the legends of the flood Bellamy discusses in his book, so there is the possibility of floods happening all around the world, and the legend are similar but is it scientifically possible? How could it happen in reality?

So I will throw out a theory, and this is my own, my thoughts, what if the flood happened after an ice age, what if global warming and rain melted ice caps, glaciers and there was a huge fast run off. In the Biblical account it talks of the springs of the Earth bursting forth, with any over saturated ground the will begin to bleed water when it can no longer sustain it. If there was massive run off from glaciers, I believe that it would quickly over saturate the ground and if joined by rain it would quickly turn it into a disaster. Forty days and nights would be devastating and unsurvivable.

In his book A World without Ice, Henry Pollack, Ph. D looks at the crisis occurring in our world now, where territorial floods are becoming more and more common place. He goes so far as to quote Ben Graham “It is very difficult for someone living in the United States to grasp the fact that if the sea level raises just a few feet, a whole nation will disappear.” He looks into the crisis of melting ice caps and glaciers from around the world, where is this water going. Simply it is going into the ground and into the oceans, and then when a few days of heavy rain you receive severe flooding like happened in 2011 along the Mississippi River.

Mount Kilimanjaro once regarded as an eternal snowcap is expected to be free of ice by 2020, just a few years away.

So we have the means today for a world wide natural disaster if there was a huge lasting rainstorm especially during the warmer summer months affecting glaciers and ice caps. But did it happen in the past, very possible. Season one of Ancient Aliens pointed out there are there were hundreds of Ancient civilizations submerged within the Mediterranean Sea alone and also pointed out ones along the edges of Japan and along the Caribbean Islands.

Beverland Historica also states this fact and believes these cities were lost due to ice melt over the last 5000 years. Much was due to rapid flooding explaining the wealth of items recovered from the towns that were not taken with a slower gradual water rise that would have happened with only the slow ice cap meltage that we have going on today, but with excessive rain causing life threatening flooding.

So I ask you to ponder this, was there a flood, a world wide flood at one time that after it receded and we were able to repopulate the Earth, but forever changing the landscape of the Earth below? Is this when the Grand Canyon was formed by the rapid run off of the receding waters, during the cooling of the Earth and the reforming of the ice caps? Or was this from millions of years of steady water flow and the problems with flooding being a more localized event? We may never know, but it is clear that from the ancient days of old flooding has always been a problem. Flooding is something that we need to be ready for because it can happen anytime and anywhere that a cloud floats over.


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    • jcdelfinoiii profile imageAUTHOR

      J. C. Delfino III 

      6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Thank you for checking out my article brackenb, I have not checked that out going to have to google it.

    • brackenb profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting article. Have you read Secrets Of the Lost Races? There are pictures in there of what is believed to be the remains of the Ark - fascinating stuff.

    • jcdelfinoiii profile imageAUTHOR

      J. C. Delfino III 

      6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Actually Delfino is my given last name, I freaked out the first time I saw it on that game. ;-)

    • jcdelfinoiii profile imageAUTHOR

      J. C. Delfino III 

      6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Interesting input HeadlyvonNoggin, and I admit I am not a master on this topic, I prefer to study psychology and this was originally a paper for my humanities class. ;-) It is after all just a theory and something to make someone go hummmm. GabrielMendoza, you find yourself in allegiance with millions of people around the world and I am not going to say you are wrong. My goal is to take this topic and ask is it possible, some do not believe it is. I think almost everything is possible, just somethings might not be likely. This was food for thought. thank you both for your input.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Interesting hub, jcdelfinoiii. I have to know, is your name in any way a Mario Kart reference?

      We know from massive amounts of geological evidence that there has never been a global flood. In fact, the last time the entire earth was covered by water was roughly 3 billion years ago before land formed.

      However, in the case of the Sumerian story of Gilgamesh, as well as the biblical story of Noah, neither of the authors of these would have any way of knowing if the flood they were experiencing was in fact global, and in neither story would a global flood even be necessary to accomplish what each says the flood was meant for. A regional flood of the Mesopotamian valley, of which there have been many, would appear to be the entire earth from a human perspective, and would in fact be the whole earth as far as they're concerned.

      So, basically I believe those stories are speaking of real events, only regional. As for the flood stories found in ancient mythologies around the world, I have a theory about that.

      According to the old testament/Torah, about a century or so after the flood a handful of Noah's descendants are said to have been dispersed in all directions throughout the world from Babel, each of them carrying their own language and each of them familiar with the flood that happened not that long before.

      I'm attempting to convey the rest of this theory in hubs I'm working on, but the jist of it is that I believe Genesis is a literal telling of actual events set in an already populated world. If read that way it makes a lot more sense. So, when Noah's descendants were dispersed at Babel, they were dispersed into an already populated world, each of them knowledgeable of the flood.

      This lines up with geological evidence that shows flooding in the Mesopotamian valley around 4000 BC that had a dramatic effect on the Ubaid culture in the ancient Sumerian city-state of Ur. It also lines up with a climatological event known as the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900 BC) that made all of northern Africa and the Middle East very dry/arid regions (that dry patch that can be seen across this whole region on a globe). This aridification event dispersed the populations of humans that inhabited those regions (like the early Sumerians).

      In the centuries that followed that aridification event comes the rise of a full-blown Sumerian civilization in southern Mesopotamia, Egyptian civilization in Africa, the first civilization of the Indus valley in India, and the Akkadians in Northern Mesopotamia who later blended in with the Sumerians. Each of these civilizations had their own distinct language and each have very similar flood stories.

      Did some of Noah's descendants travel further than these regions? I'd say the similar flood stories the world over would be an indicator that suggests yes, yes they did.

    • GabrielMendoza profile image


      6 years ago from Yuma, Arizona

      I believe it did.. Even the science say that it's a great possibility. But a even better question is that is says, it covered the whole earth. But back then it was a small area that they called the whole earth. So was it just in the area of Israel that got put under water? Cause I don't think the whole earth covered in water would survive that. But those are my thoughts.


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