Why do Most Cultures Have Flood Myths and Stories?

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Flood Myths go Global

Flood myths have been around probably since man first started oral traditions. The most well known in Western culture is the story of Noah’s flood from the Bible but there are many other stories. The Sumerians … [wrote] down their flood myths with the story of Gilgamesh ….
In Europe Plato wrote of the city of Atlantis that swallowed up by the sea. It is said he got his story from the ancient Egyptians. This isn’t to say that Europe did not have any original flood myths, as they did. The Arcadians, Samothrace, ancient Germans, Scandinavians, Celtic, Welsh, Lithuanian, Transylvanian, and Turkish peoples all had various forms of flood myths popping up in their culture.

Updated on January 25, 2013

Behind the Great Wave at Kanagawa

In Asia the Vogul, Samoyeds, Yenisey-Ostyak, Kamchadale, Ataic, Tuvinian, Mongolian, Sagaiye, Buryat, Bhil, Kamar, Assam, Tamil, Lepcha, Tibetian, Singpho, Lushai, Lisu. Lolo, Jino, Karen, Chingpa, Chinese, Korean, Munda, Santal, Ho, Banar, Kammu, Zhuang, Sui, Shan, Tsuwo, Bunun, Ami, Benua-Jakun, Kelantan, Ifugao, Atá, Mandaya, Tinguian, Batak, Nias, Engano, Dusun, Dyak, Ot-Danom, Toradja, Alfoor, Rotti, and Nage all had thier different versions of flood myths.

In Africa flood myths can be seen in the cultures of the Cameroon, Masai, Komililo Nandi, Kwaya, Pygmy, Ababua, Kikuyu, Bakongo, Basonge, Bena-Lulua, Yoruba, Ekoi, Efik-Ibibio, and Mandingo.
 
In Australia the Aboriginals of each region seemed to have a different flood myth and hundreds of tribes in the Americas each had their own wild stories of flooding as well. These stories often involved animals, sometimes rescuing people, sometimes riding the storm out with boats. In our current modern day world most of the major religions still have at least one flood myth among their texts.

The Common Threads

Although all the flood myths vary, sometimes to large degrees, many of them have some thread of commonality. Often these stories are told about one human character or one human family. Animals are involved in many of these stories and there is almost always a moral, with the flood coming only after the human race has committed some wrong doing.

Theories about their Origin

It’s long been noted that flood myths are one of a handful of stories that seem to be common in almost every culture.
….
One of the most interesting theories is that all these stories could have started out as one story that really happened sometime during the end of the last ice age when glaciers would have been melting rapidly making ocean waters rise and swallowing whole civilizations near the coasts.
….It is an intriguing idea.

….

Taken from: http://theophanes.hubpages.com/hub/Some-Speculations-on-the-Commonality-of-Flood-Myths

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