“And the waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the waters. And the waters rose high over the earth, and all the high mountains that were under all the heavens were covered ”(Genesis 7: 18-19).
The mighty Himalayas, also known as “The roof of the world”, rise to an incredible height, sometimes disappearing into the clouds. Some of the highest peaks are there, including Mount Everest, which at 8,849 meters is the highest mountain in the world.
At these record levels, the air is thin and temperatures are extreme. The land is arid and brown, and it seems that it has been that way since the beginning of time. We say well, it seems, because right there, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest sea, explorers have come across marine fossils.
How Are There Fossilized Fish in the Himalayas?
The Spiti Valley is rife with evidence dating back 540 million years and attracts paleontologists from around the world. The villages of Komic, Mud, Hikkim (where the world’s tallest post office stands), Langza, and Lalung, lie along this fossil-rich sediment belt.
In Nepal, ammonites (marine cephalopods with shells) are found along the bed of the Kali Gandaki River. Also, the daring climbers who have been to the top of Mount Everest brought back rocks in which fossils of sea lilies were discovered.
It’s hard to imagine that this vast expanse of climate-bleached land was once a thriving ocean floor, with fish and sea creatures as inhabitants. To understand this, we need to know how the Himalayas formed.
The scientific explanation
Eons ago, a massive geological event called continental drift took place. Before this, the world as we know it did not exist. Instead, there were supercontinents or giant landmasses that were part of the continents we know today. India was part of Gondwana – which included Australia, Africa, Antarctica, India, and South America.
Relatively closer in time, 150 million years ago, India broke away from Gondwana and began moving north, closer to Eurasia.
The Sea of Thetis, which was located between the two landforms, had a rich and diverse marine life. It took about a hundred million years for the two landforms to collide, but when they did, it was with such power that the dense crusts of both, crushed by the immense force, rose upwards, forming mountains that rose from below. from sea.
Even today, the layered rocks of the Himalayas are rich in fossils of the inhabitants that once populated the Tethys Sea, as well as fossils of coral reef remains and marine plants.
The discovery of these fossils not only reveals the truth about the origin of these mountains but also that the path to the roof of the world was once as deep as the ocean!
An Allusion To The Biblical Floods?
Given the enormous time scales that took place in the separation of the continents, it is impossible that the fossilized fish of the Himalayas got there in the time of Noah (by that time some theories attribute it to the impact of a comet in the recent Dryas and even to something as heterodox as the positioning of the Moon in its current orbit ).
But did you know that the Bible really describes two great floods and not just one?
This second —or rather, first— “flood” is described in Genesis 1. The chapter describes two periods of “creation”: the initial creation of the earth and the universe (verse 1); the cataclysmic destruction of that world (verse 2); and from verse 3 onward, the recreation of the earth’s surface.
What happened in the interval between Genesis 1: 1 and verse 2 is detailed in other verses and makes for a fascinating study. The Bible describes an angelic rebellion that destroyed “the face of the earth,” requiring subsequent rebirth.
According to some biblical scholars, the initial creation of the world and the subsequent destruction fit perfectly with the discoveries that culminated in the Mesozoic Period — the Age of Dinosaurs, the Age of Reptiles, and their catastrophic end. And the period from recreation to Noah’s Flood fits well with what is known as the Cenozoic Period – the Age of Mammals, man, and the Ice Age, following that other great extinction, the Extinction Event of the Quaternary -.
And beyond these equivalences, the important thing to underline here is that a significant part of the nature of the event of destruction of Genesis 1: 2 included floods: “And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the abyss. , and the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters ».
This, the exegetes point out, is an indication of a catastrophic prehistoric flood event, which could be influenced by the continental drift that science tells us about – initiating the rupture of the supercontinents Laurasia and Gondwana, corresponding to the initial formation of the Himalayas. or for something more primal and chaotic still —as we will detail later—. After all, in the sacred scriptures, the words – in Hebrew – tohu and bohu (‘waste’ and ‘decomposition’) are read, which implies a lack of form and general planetary chaos.
The chapter then describes the recreation, separating the landmasses from the sea, “dividing the waters from the waters” (verse 6) so that “the dry land may appear” (verse 9).
Science and religion
These days, many in the Western world consider the story of the Flood – also mentioned in other cultures – to be insane. But imagine going back in time and coming up with the idea of a seafloor “migrating” from Africa, crashing into Asia, and becoming the tallest piece of land on Earth. In many ways, that theory sounded ridiculous practically until the 1960s.
As for the “Himalayan fish,” they are certainly evidence of the shifting power of plate tectonics and continental drift. As we have seen, they do not prove that the well-known Noah’s Flood covered Mount Everest exactly as it is today. However, if one has to give some credence to what is said in Biblical Genesis, these marine fossils do coincide – even in simpler words – with what was said about the global “first Flood” during the creation of the world.
In short, and of course, leaving aside whether a “God” could create these conditions on our planet, one thing does not take away from the other.
Floods of the future
But the great floods that occurred in the past, will return one day … At least this is what researchers from Harvard University have recently suggested, who carried out a series of simulations where they increased the temperature of the oceanic surface to 54.4 degrees – multiplying 64 times the CO2 in the atmosphere or increasing the brightness of the Sun by about 10 percent.
As a result, they found that in the distant past when the poles did not even exist, the Earth may have experienced intense periods of drought followed by huge storms thousands of kilometers wide, capable of spewing, in just a few hours, debris of half a meter of height – tohu and bohu ! –
These conditions will be present again several hundred million years from now, as the Sun shines brighter and brighter. Thus, there will be a time when the floods and the fish will return to the Himalayas.
- Why Are There Fish Fossils High Up In The Himalayas? – Mishana Khot.
- Fossilized Fish on Mount Everest — Proof of the Flood? – Christopher Eames.
- Nothing fishy about ancient marine fossils on Everest – APP.
- Episodic deluges in simulated hothouse climates – Jacob T. Seeley & Robin D. Wordsworth.
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