“What has been will be again, What has been done will be done again; There is nothing new under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9
This holds true for many aspects of life. But how far can this idiom be taken?
As we all know, the first nuclear bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945 at the White Sands Proving Ground in Los Alamos, New Mexico. But was that really the first time the Earth had witnessed a nuclear explosion?
According to the Mahabharata, a Sanskrit epic of ancient India, nuclear war has already taken place, some 4,000 years ago.This 1.8 million-word text tells the tale of a devastating conflict that culminated with the utter destruction typical in the case of an atomic blast. The manuscripts say that using flying machines called Vimanas, humans deployed ” a single projectile charged with all the power of the universe.” Sounds familiar?
They go on saying that this projectile caused an incandescent pillar of smoke and fire “as bright as ten thousand suns”.The Earth shook and arrows of flame rained continuously. The scorching heat caused the death of animals and humans alike.
The waters boiled, killing off all forms of aquatic life. Soon after, hair and nails started falling out, food was poisoned and pottery cracked without cause. Birds lost their sense of direction and circled endlessly, became white and dropped dead.
We now know that birds use the Earth’s magnetic lines for direction and losing their sense of direction would be probable in the case of a great magnetic anomaly.
The Mahabharata is regarded as mostly mythic but one would wonder how could people describe the particularities of a nuclear explosion without witnessing it firsthand. And the ancient Indian epic isn’t the only scripture that alludes to a disaster of this kind.
In the Bible we have the story of Joseph, recorded in the book of Genesis. After being sold as a slave in Egypt he manages to gain great favor from the pharaoh by interpreting his dream and warning him of the impending famine.
What could have caused a seven-year famine in the entire world at the time?
Some say that this scenario is compatible with the nuclear winter following the detonation of a powerful enough nuclear bomb. Another interesting aspect is that the average lifespan of the generations preceding Joseph was around 200 years but those following him do not exceed 130 years. According to the Bible, this event took place roughly 2000 years before the birth of Christ. Some would argue that the Bible cannot be considered a legitimate historical source but sometimes connecting the dots leads to interesting results.
And then we have the legend of Atlantis. The Atlanteans were a technologically advanced civilization. They too possessed flying machines called vailxi and they also had fearsome weapons of mass destruction.
This is largely a work of fiction propagated by Plato, but the legend of Atlantis mentions an entire continent sinking to the bottom of the ocean in a cataclysmic manner.
Robert Oppenheimer had a leading role in the Manhattan Project , the program that created the atomic bomb. When a reporter asked him How does it feel to be the father of the atomic bomb, he responded with another question: “You mean in modern times?”
Witnessing the detonation firsthand, he famously quoted the Bhagvad Gita, a part of the Mahabharata, saying: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
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