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Corbett 2016 Mythical Flood Stories of the World  

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Great Floods

The story of a great flood that once overwhelmed the Earth -- a flood that only a lucky few survived -- is one of the most widespread of all myths. The earliest flood story is found in the Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh, in which Utnapishtim frees birds to see if the waters are subsiding.  A few other well known flood myths are listed below.  Be sure to seek out additional information on these myths.  Do not include the text below as a concrete detail in your research.

Big Canoe

The Native American Mandan tribe spoke of Lone Man, who survived a great flood in his big canoe.  

Another Ark Story

The Greek god Zeus, tired of all the wickedness of humans sent a flood to drown them all.  But the giant Prometheus warned his son Deucalion, who built an ark in time to save himself and his wife.

Saved by a Fish

One day the Hindu sage Manu found a fish in his washing water.  The fish told Manu that he should build a ship because a great flood was coming. When the flood arrived, the fish, which was an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, towed Manu to safety.  Manu then became the father of all mankind.  

Kingdom of Atlantis

Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, fell in love with a owman called Clito and built her a paradise island.  Clito bore Poseidon sons who founded the kingdom of Atlantis on the island.  The brothers ruled the island in wisdom.  But later rulers became greedy and corrupt, so Poseidon sent a tidal wave to swallow up Atlantis and all its people

Creator of Humans

Viracocha, the Inca creator god, was displeased with his first attempt at creating humans from stone, so he drowned them all in a flood.  He then tried again, this time making the people from clay.  He wandered among these people as a beggar, teaching them how to live. 


Information adapted from 

Philip, Neil. "Floods and Storms." Eyewitness Mythology. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999. 20-21. Print.

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