Water World: Was the world we live in once covered in water?

Everyone has heard the story of Noahs Ark. It is a classical biblical tale. One which has been passed down for centuries. What happens though when a similar story describing the same event is found? In 1857 a British scholar named George Smith deciphered a cuneiform tablet, and inscribed on this tablet was a Mesopotamian version of the flood, the same flood described in the bible. This find may seem unimportant but it had multiple influences on the credibility and influences of the flood story.

In the bible this worldwide flood occurs because God is upset with how vile and corrupt the world has become so he decides to destroy all of human kind except for one man and his family who he sees as a godly man. God tells him to build an ark and that he will be destroying the world. In the Mesopotamian version the gods became tired of all the hard work and labor that they were doing to build and work the land so they made humans to do it for them, but after a while the gods became irritated of how loud the humans were which denied them the rest that they wanted so the gods decided to kill them all off in a giant flood. Only one man survived. He had gathered his whole family into a ship and closed the doors behind him, riding out the storm until it had passed. These are the two biggest stories of a massive worldwide flood that are written down and they both have have characteristics that match the other story as well as differ.

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There are close similarities in both of these stories, a higher being became irritated with the human race and decided to get rid of it entirely. There is a massive ship which carries the lone survivors and their family to safety. This is where their similarities split though. In the bible Noah was warned by God about humanities impending doom. In the Mesopotamian narrative the survivor somehow gets to a massive ship before the flood start. In the bible the flood lasts for 40 days but in the other story it is only 7 days. There are also some more discrete differences; in the Mesopotamian stories the man closes the door to his ship shutting out the rest of humankind, but in the bible Noah doesn’t close the door, God does signifying how only God gets to decide who lives and who does not. Another difference is in the bible God vows that he will never again destroy humankind, but in the Mesopotamian story the gods find other ways to keep the human race from growing to big, such as infertile women and miscarriages. Also the authors use these stories to show how certain unexplainable events occur. Such as the rainbow, in the bible the rainbow symbolizes Gods promise to never destroy or flood the earth again. In the Mesopotamian story infertility and miscarriages happen because the gods are using it as population control. All of these things were phenomenon’s that were previously unexplainable for humans.

Having both of these stories, rather than just the one, from two different civilizations makes the us believe more that this one worldwide natural disaster could be possible. these two stories make the flood a more possible fact, and not just a story.

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3 thoughts on “Water World: Was the world we live in once covered in water?

  1. I think its interesting when people take on the factual happening of stories such as this one. Without necessarily picking sides but looking at the story and cross referencing it to records of different civilizations throughout history. I think this idea has potential and I would definitely be interested in reading more about this idea.

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  2. The concept of a water covered earth is fascinating indeed. I grew up with Noah’s ark, among other Biblical tales. However it was intriguing to see a glimpse of the other tale as well. Growing up in a faith based household, we’re told that there are many stories and religions that attempt to delegitimize the stories of the Bible while seemingly referencing stories from the Bible as their own.

    I found your title to be captivating. I immediately thought of the 1995 film Waterworld, where humanity has plunged the world into a liquid abyss due to the ice caps melting. We see the antagonists as cruel dirty polluters, and our protagonist as caring and mindful of the environment. While the Noah’s ark story is different than this movie, they’re similar in the sense that only the pure or kind hearted survive.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

    Like

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