Many people associate the story of the Great Flood with the Bible.
However, ancient cultures all across the world have myths and legends describing a time in the
distant past when a horrifying Deluge wiped all almost all life on Earth.
The story of Noah's ark is not just a Biblical story. Noah was known under a different
name in India, among ancient Egyptians and Native Americans, just to mention a few cultures.
Some of the details of the Noah story seem mythical, so many biblical scholars believe the story of Noah and the Ark was inspired by the legendary flood stories
of nearby Mesopotamia, in particular "The Epic of Gilgamesh."
These ancient narratives were already being passed down from one generation to the next, centuries
before Noah appeared in the Bible.
Gustave Doré's Engravings of the Great Flood
"The earlier Mesopotamian stories are very similar where the gods are sending a flood to wipe out humans," said biblical archaeologist Eric Cline.
"There's one man they choose to survive. He builds a boat and brings on animals and lands on a mountain and lives happily ever after? I would argue that
it's the same story."
The truth is that except for Antarctica there is not a single continent whose population is not familiar with the story of the Great Flood and Noah's escape.
Of course, one can wonder what scientific proof might exist that can confirm the veracity of this ancient event.
Fascinated by the idea that the story of the great Flood might be true, Robert Ballard, one of the world's best-known underwater archaeologists decided to look
for traces of an ancient lost civilization that could reveal more information about the Deluge.
Robert Ballard has on several occasions shown he has a talent for discovering "the impossible".
In 1985, using a robotic submersible equipped with remote-controlled cameras, Ballard and his crew hunted down the world's most famous shipwreck, the Titanic.
This time, he and his team believe that their marine archeological mission might support the story of Noah.
He said some 12,000 years ago, much of the world was covered in ice.
"Where I live in Connecticut was ice a mile above my house, all the way back to the North Pole, about 15 million kilometers, that's a big ice cube," he said.
"But then it started to melt. We're talking about the floods of our living history."
The water from the melting glaciers began to rush toward the world's oceans, Ballard said, causing floods all around the world.
"The questions is, was there a mother of all floods," Ballard said.
The story of the Great Flood can be found among all ancient cultures.
According to a controversial theory proposed by two Columbia University scientists, there really was one in the Black Sea region.
They believe that the now-salty Black Sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland, until it was flooded by an enormous wall of water from the
rising Mediterranean Sea.
The force of the water was two hundred times that of Niagara Falls, sweeping away everything in its path," ABC news
"We went in there to look for the flood," Ballard said.
"Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed... The land that went under stayed under."
Engraving of the Great Flood by Gutav Doré.
The mission was a success. About four hundred feet below the surface, Ballard and his team unearthed an ancient shoreline. This was proof to Ballard that a
catastrophic event did happen in the Black Sea.
"By carbon dating shells found along the shoreline, Ballard said he believes they have established a timeline for that catastrophic event, which he estimates
happened around 5,000 BC. Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah's flood could have occurred.
"It probably was a bad day," Ballard said. "At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square
kilometers of land, went under."
Ballard and his team can soon offer more evidence of the Deluge.
Ballard does not have any hope he will find Noah's Ark, but he does believe there are many treasures beneath the sea around Turkey and is making plans for more
expeditions in this region. He certainly thinks that he may find evidence of a people whose entire world was washed away about 7,000 years ago. He and his team
said they plan to return to Turkey next summer.
"It's foolish to think you will ever find a ship," Ballard said, referring to the Ark. "But can you find people who were living? Can you find their villages
that are underwater now? And the answer is yes."
Hopefully, Ballard and his team will soon be able to offer more evidence supporting the ancient story of the Great Flood and provide more
information about a period in our history when the Earth nearly died..
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