Disasters have always been a source of fascination and awe. Tales of a
great flood that nearly wipes out all life are among humanitys oldest
recorded stories, dating at least from the second millennium B.C., and
they appear in cultures from the Middle East to the Arctic Circle to the
southernmost tip of South America and the islands of Polynesia.
Typically gods are at the center of these ancient disaster tales - which
is perhaps not too surprising, given the fact that the tales originated
during a time when human beings were at the mercy of natural forces
they did not understand.