Only cultures that survived the floods to be able to tell legends of how they did it.
Yep. Pretty much all early civilizations grew around sources of water, and all of them experienced flooding to some extent. It's only natural for a child to ask "What would happen if it just kept raining forever?"
Yeah that really struck me too. Everyone else be like "well this is god's will" meanwhile the chinese be like "not on my watch"
Since seasonal floodings are relatively common and most of humanity lived near rivers/waterways for generations, it doesn't suprise be that there are a lot of myths and stories about legendary floods.
Not to forget that the ending of the last ice age probably led to a lot local floodings when rivers redirect themself spontaneously
The Chinese myth was about the Yellow River and there is archaeological evidence of a major outburst flood there around 4,000 years ago. The people who were affected by the flood lived also lived inland. The cradle of Chinese civilization happened inland.
In addition to this, Yu later became the king of China and established the Xia dynasty.
Soulja Boy made a great song about this detailing what a super man Yu was.
I'm not going to say that gods and dragons are aliens. But they were aliens.
Look carefully, what does a Chinese dragon (a rocket!) look like which is very different from dragon's from other culture? The Gods suppose to came on the back of Chinese dragons.
Ooh! It makes sense now!
Do any of these stories involve ... gold?
I think one reason for the flooding myth’s existence is the discovery of marine fossils inland.
It’s also possible there was some singular cataclysmic flood event extremely early in human history, when humans were largely limited to one region of the globe, and that story was passed down over thousands of years.
Archaeological and geologically evidence does not support that. It seems flood stories developed independently from each other in different societies at various points of human history. Lots of different places have suffered major flooding at some point though. This makes sense because human civilizations tend to be established around bodies of water, whether it's the sea, a lake, or a river.
One hypothesis is that flood myths were inspired by the discovery of fossils of fish and seashells on mountaintops, which would explain the Andean myths. People assumed that there must have been a flood a long time ago for sea creatures to wash up so far from and so high from the coast.
There were a bit right, since these places used to be immerged.
There is some evidence, it highly contested but it’s there. Most civilizations have likely experienced floods but its a stretch to claim they were all significant enough to be considered world ending at the time.
There's a reason why they call the Yellow River China's sorrow. The tragic flooding from that alone could explain their culture having flood myths.
The funny thing is the Flood Myth is basically telling the Chinese "Yes, its bad now, but it was worse before."
This myth is important and very influencial in chinese culture, every single chinese person knows it. typically they were told / educated that:
the son can be a hero even the father failed.
work hard and never give up (Yu worked on it for 10 years)
(most important) dredging is often better than blocking when dealing a problem,
(very influencial) work is higher than family (Yu didn't visit his family during that 10 years, even that he was passing by his house 3 times).
Man, how many Engineer Folk Heroes can you think of? This is the sort of hero we want more of.
Yu the Engineer.
More like: Yu THE Engineer
Noah must have been quite the engineer to build the Ark.
He cheated, God had to spoonfeed him all the measurements.
He built a product from the customer's requirement spec. This isn't cheating. This is engineering.
I didn't even know he's an Engineer till this post… He's near mythical in our stories
Yu’s method is much closer to engineering. What OP didn’t mention is that according to the legend, Gun managed flooding for 9 years by blocking water and building dikes. He did a good job initially but eventually flood got worse and Gun was executed for it. Yu came up with diverting rivers instead of simply blocking, and had much more success.
"We invested in infrastructure" not as sexy as Gods and Dragons...
The Chinese word for province: 州 is derived from 洲. The radical on the left of 洲 is the water radical and the word itself means island. So what the Chinese uses today for “province” literally used to mean island.
Pretty much every civilization has a flood myth.
Pretty much every civilization was built on agriculture reliant on the irrigation and nutrients provided by periodic flooding of the rivers (eg. Nile, Tigris/Euphrates, Ganges, Huang-he, Mekong, Indus, Mississippi etc). It would be pretty weird if they didn't have a flood myth.
This has me curious if the steppe cultures, like the Mongols, Scythians, and Huns, had flood myths
That doesn't seem like something a man made drainage system would help with.
Sounds like a bedtime story if your dads an engineer.
"...and the engineers saved the day."
And everyone cheered!
Floodgates! Sea walls! Lagoons! Giant pumps powered by masses of Chinese laborers!
It should be made into an epic movie.
And this episode the brave engineers discuss the best materials for making the dam wall.
The Chinese believe they have actually found the flood defences and water management systems created during this time, evidence has also been found supporting the great flood myth.
Excavations at two ancient communities in the lower Yellow River floodplain in China’s Henan province revealed a 10,000-year history of sediment deposition. Analysis of the organisation of soil grains revealed whether earthen structures identified within the deposits were human-built or laid down as part of a natural sedimentation process, while radiocarbon dating of snail shells and other organic matter helped to identify the timeframes during which the structures were created. The results suggest that the Chinese began building levee systems along the lower reaches of the river about 2,900–2,700 years ago – the earliest known archaeological evidence for human construction of large-scale levees and other flood-control systems.
Is it really a myth with so much corroborating physical evidence across the globe?
The myth isn't the fact that there might have been a local flood on the planes of the Yellow River. The myth are the countless little details around it, which have little to no evidence behind it.
Well yeah. You can't just string together similar enough stories from different places in the world with different details at different times, and claim that they're actually all talking about the same event with absolutely no proof.
And even if they were all about the same event. It's pretty Christian-centric to just assume that the biblical account is the true story that all these different stories are apparently referencing.
If anything it's likely the biblical flood is just a story passed down from older cultures and faith systems. Christians are quite good at integrating elements other beliefs in order to have popular appeal.
Myths are of global floods. No one is calling a local flood a myth.
So that's how the Three Gorges Dam came to be.
Inuit (Eskimos) also had a flood myth happening years and years ago. Strange because we are so far North but when Christianity came to the north and told the story of Noah’s arc they were like oh yeah that flood.
So what you're saying about that flood myth is:
That in one place it brought people together to fight it.
And In the other it has one guy going "Hey! I've got my boat, screw the rest of you!!" and sails away into the sunset...
Better than the Christian drunk inbreeder...
Why Christian? The story is from the Old Testament - it's Judaism.
Christian bad. I may not know anything about the OT or Near Eastern Mythos but I do know Christian bad.
Most ancient cultures have some iteration of the flood story. Noah just had better PR in Western Europe.
If you thought this was interesting, you should take a deep dive into shared myths between disparate religions and cultures.
Christianity is a hodge podge of different stories and myths that existed for centuries beforehand. The virgin birth? Common myth, found all over the world. The concept of a trinity? Common religious thinking, there have been many such deities, the number 3 has been considered sacred to many faiths and cultures. And on and on. Pretty much every religious story has roots in older stories that have been told for thousands of years.
Check out Joseph Campbell. "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" is a great book, he discusses how we see the same sorts of stories, the same heroes, all throughout the world and throughout history. It's really fascinating stuff. "The Power of Myth" is great too, it's a collection of conversations between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers. It was originally released as a documentary, you can still find the documentary but you can also just read it in book form (or audio book).
Christians build a big boat, the Chinese build dams and drainage basins.
This sounds like more fun
Sounds more believable than 8 people building a huge boat to fill with two of all kinds of animals.
Interesting that the character for ship is vessel + 8 + mouth. Maybe the early Chinese actually believed that part.
TIL Noah was a dead-beat!
It’s almost like every early human civilization was based around rivers so flooding was a common disaster.
Almost every culture has a myth about a Great Flood. Why ? Well, because human settlements tend to be near the river.
There is archaeological/geophysical evidence that the Earth possibly saw many "great floods" like the one detailed in the Bible. A lot of the ancient civilizations mention a flood in their mythologies, often taking place shortly after the first humans were made/appeared.
For example, the ancient Greeks also mention a great flood in their mythology. The flood was brought on by the gods after Pandora opened her jar (some translations say a box) and all of the evils swarmed out. Similar to the Biblical flood, which was to wash away all of the evil, the Greek flood was meant to do the same. Deucalion, son of Prometheus, who created humans, was the Greek version of Noah. After Zeus sent down the flood, Deucalion asked how to save mankind. He was instructed to "throw the bones of your mother behind you". He interpreted it as the "bones" of Mother Earth (Gaia), or stones. All the stones he threw behind him turned into men and all the stones his wife threw behind her turned into women. Unlike the biblical flood, the Greek flood lasted only 9 days and nights.
According to Hindu mythology, Manu helps save a small fish from being eaten by a bigger fish. He then raises the fish, until it’s almost the size of the entire ocean. The fish then transforms into Vishnu (in the Mahabharata, the fish becomes Brahma) and saves him and seven great sages from the deluge. Manu then marries and re-populates the earth (the Sanskrit word for ‘human’ is mānava, which literally means ‘Children of Manu’).
Its interesting that you mention the Vishnu/Brahma difference. I was at a museum recently and I spent some time checking out a lot of sculptures from the Indian subcontinent and there was this one statue that really stood out to me. I thought it looked like a statue of Vishnu until I read the associated plaque and learned it was actually Brahma instead!
He married his daughter and repopulate the world with her.
The bible flood may have been copied from the sumerian flood. In any case, there are a lot of flood stories.
Says a lot about East and West - West = every man for himself - I’m building a boat..East = let’s band together and build a drainage system.
It's even worse than that. West = Every man for himself, I'm building a boat and taking every animal with me to start a new place. Screw all of you!
So that’s where individualism and collectivism come from!
Was that Lord Yu from Stargate?
I believe the Stargate character was based on the historical figure, yes.
Any civilization that developed in a river basin will have a flood myth.
One of the Hindu flood myths is hectic and kinda whimsical. Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu (Preserver and Protector,) is a small blue skinned child. When the villagers piss off Indra (God of rain,) he decides to flood all the villagers until they worship him again.
So little kid Krishna goes and lifts up a giant hill called Goverdhan with his pinky finger, and all the villagers use it as a giant umbrella and chill there for a week.
Then Indra is like "wow I was so silly" and makes peace and asks Krishna's forgiveness.
It's not even the only chinese floor myth! There is another where the creator goddess mends the heavens to stop a flood
Yu the engineer, now that’s a mythological figure I can get behind
Chinese Flood Fighters vs Christian Giver Uppers
中国抗洪斗士 vs 基督教投降者
Noah had better options? That dude fucked up and let all those other people die. Just built an ark to save his family and future potential dinners. What a narcissist.
Sounds way better than the shitty christian version
Holy shit, that's so much more badass than the biblical great flood. Noah just builds a big boat and gets every animal, I would have loved a story of him gathering those animals to create an animal army to fight demons and turn his boat into a warship.
This actually is a pretty famous story.
Unlike the biblical story, humans fought the flood
(Halo theme) duh duh duh duuuuuh
Led by the mythical hero Yu
Duh duh duh duuuuuh
Who battled evil demons
Hey Ya Eeeee howahhhh!
(光晕主题曲) 嘟 嘟 嘟 嘟~~~
嘟 嘟 嘟 嘟~~~~
This would make a great movie.
It's also become common in china to build a dam, because of this folklore.
China has so many dams
Chins has so many dams because its primary two rivers (Yangtze and Huang He) are dangerously prone to flooding in some of the most densely populated parts of the world. These floods are among the deadliest natural disasters of all time.
someone did the math once on the intensity of the waterfall of the bible 40 days 40 nights rainfall to flood the planet. something the equivalent of a firehose over all the surface of the earth.
I'd imagine that might tear a wooden boat apart. in like, 15 minutes.
Important to note that 40 in the Old Testament is a symbolic number that just means "a lot". So it didn't rain for precisely 40 days and 40 nights, it just rained for a long-ass time. Same with Moses' people spending 40 years in the desert, and a few other examples scattered throughout the books.
It's like the rabbits in Watership Down that can't count past five. Anything over five is "a thousand".
6 must be a long time too since god created everything in just 6 days but 'religious scholars' say those aren't REAL days they're GOD days which are years or decades or millennia or something.
It's funny the lengths religious people take to try and explain the fallacies and contradictions in the word of god.
The entire world being flooded? Pretty sure that is literally scientifically impossible. And by "pretty sure" I mean 110% positive that is scientifically impossible.
Noah's Ark is one of the more fun tales of the bible but this is way cooler
it is reported Noah was a child molester... and liked sheep ???
Bible's stories are stolen from other cultures, mainly Babylonian and Egyptian.
Way better story. Remember at the end of the noah story where his son starts playing with his dad's junk...
This sounds rad as hell
Why isn't there a major Hollywood film of it? I mean it sounds solid and would go well in China?
Prolly why they have such a determined, resilient and hard working culture and our western is full of pussies
This just means that our God is more powerful than theirs
The ark story is more realistic
Yeah, because it's so darned easy to capture a male and female of every single creature on earth and put it on a big boat and keep them all alive with the food you also brought for each and every one. Including insects.
Sounds less "believable" than the Bible.
The Egyptians built the pyramids a very long time ago. Why would we doubt that the Chinese would have the ability to build dams and lagoons?
So it might have actually happened?
The ending of the ice age as we transitioned into the historical era probably contributed greatly to the flood myths found in most ancient civilizations. Less advanced civilizations tell foundational stories of survivors who created new civilizations after, a relatively advanced civilization like China tells stories of perseverance and adaptation in the face of the threat.
Both are likely rooted in some truth. There were likely countless villages and communities lost to flooding over millennia where a singular survivor group emerged to continue. In China I suspect there is significant archeological evidence of ancient dams and basins.