According to the ancient Indian epics and legends of the Maya, Nahua, the Aztec, Inca, Aymara, Hopi and other peoples of North, Central and South America (here or here) a catastrophe at the turn of the Early and Middle Miocene, 16 million years ago, was accompanied by the emergence of Moon, the earth's axis tilting, and the Sun and the Moon rising in different directions, but with equal brightness. They also reported the oceans and continents changing shape, glaciation, a flood, a period of darkness and cold.
This suggests a disaster reflected in the legends and myths of other nations going back to remote times, spreading far beyond the affected regions. Tierra del Fuego Indians, the Pehuenche, say that during the flood , "The sun and the moon fell from the sky, and the world remained without light." The ancient Chinese say "the earth split apart from its bowels gushing water and flooded the earth ... and she the earth began to lose its shape .... from the north the sky began to fall slowly ... there was an eclipse of the sun ... the world changed their movement. The stars began to drift from the sky and disappear into the yawning emptiness. " Another Chinese myth says that at the time of the great catastrophe the earth is tilted and sank into the sea shores of China. It also notes that the waters of the flood rushed to the southeast. The Kurnaev, an Australian native tribe living near Lake Tyers Victoria, tell us that the great flood was preceded by the rise of the territory and a terrible drought in which there was not a single drop of water to drink. Then began a terrible flood, and water covered the whole earth.
Another Australian myth says that in very ancient times, when people still lived in tribes, there was a giant earthquake and flood, with strong winds and smoke and dust flew from the mountains. This went on for many days and nights. Then all was quiet, and the air was gone. It was hard to breathe, and many people died. Then the winds blew again, with thunder. The earth shook and big waves of water rolled over the land. After the waters left, mountains became valleys, and plains became mountains.
The Sun’s path changed. Before the earthquakes and flood, it travelled from the north to the south. After the great shaking and high water, it traveled from the east to the west.
© Margaret Bartley translation