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Mythology And Natural Phenomena

The only way ancient people could comprehend how natural occurrences happened was relating them to human features, such as “they walked, so the sun walked; they breathed, so the wind breathed” 
 
Other than using human features ancient people also used gods to explain why these harsh elements were bestowed upon them. Myths coming from different cultures about natural occurrences slightly vary. One of the things that are consistent throughout cultures natural phenomena myths is that they thought they could control the occurrences by what they would do and the way they would act. 
 
Sacrifice and worship were two of the ways that were thought to change and control natural occurrences. 
 
For example, ancients believed that if they did not make sacrifices or worship the gods, there would be a drought and all their crops would die.  They also believed that depending on how the sky, and the sky gods were emotionally feeling that day, changed the course of the weather. 
 
Early people had an extremely intimate relationship with the sky, and relied on the sky in their everyday lives. Earth, wind and fire stories were written differently in each culture because the people writing them had distinctive surroundings from one another.
 
One of the subjects ancient people wrote about was a flood story.  In Greek mythology, a god by the name of Zeus was used to explain floods that happen in Greece. 
 
In Roman mythology, the ancient people created gods known as Jupiter and Neptune to cause the floods. 
 
In Islamic mythology, Allah and Noah, a more commonly heard of flood story, was created for their culture. Earthquakes were another natural phenomenon that ancient people created stories about. 
 
In Hindu mythology, ancients’ tales about earthquakes explained how, “four elephants hold the earth. A turtle holds the elephants. A cobra holds the turtle. If any of these creatures move, there's an earthquake”
 
In Japan, there is a tale about how there was a large fish that lived underneath the earth and every time it moved, it caused an earthquake to the ground above. 
 
In Greek mythology, “wild winds trapped in the caverns underground, struggle to escape, causing earthquakes” (Deogawanka). 
One of the more popular explained phenomena is volcano myth.  According to an article titled Volcano World, in the culture of the Klamath Indians, they explained volcanic eruptions by saying “two chiefs threw rocks and flames at each other".  From the same source it is explained that in the Modoc Indian culture, they tell a story of a chief who lived in a mountain with his family and burned fires with them and, “when Chief of the Sky Spirits tossed a big log on the fire sparks flew up even higher and the Earth trembled”.
 
Volcano World describes, in Hawaiian mythology, the ancients created a goddess of fire named Pele. Her story explains how she becomes angry because she was not the fastest sled rider so she created a flood of lava that covered all of the people watching.
 
Myths were used in ancient times to explain the unknown. It may be hard to believe, but we still use this method in today's society. Although it may not be the same type of tales since we have more knowledge now: Natural disasters are said to be the direct consequences of human's effects on the environment. 


natural phenomena


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