A new RTÉ documentary series reveals that it rained relentlessly for 20 years in Ireland back in 2350BC.
The new evidence unearthed in Irish bogs means historians can now say it’s very likely that the biblical story of Noah’s great flood really did happen.
Professor Mike Baillie from Queen’s University Belfast made the discovery through examining rings in Irish trees which amazingly give a yearly record of the weather stretching back 7,000 years.
And he managed to show that Ireland’s 20-year flood coincided with the traditional date for Noah’s biblical deluge, which is 2349BC, as well as ancient tales of massive monsoons in China and Central America.
“According to the ancient Annals of the Four Masters, the whole of Ireland had to be evacuated at this time,” says Prof Baillie in The Secrets of the Irish Landscape documentary.
“We believe this global event was caused by a big explosive volcanic eruption which loaded the atmosphere with dust to reflect the sunlight away and cause widespread cooling at the earth’s surface.”
Producer Colm Crowley said Irish bogs contain the secrets of the weather dating back thousands of years in the rings of buried trees.
In the documentary, scientists were also able to tell what crops were growing around the time of the biblical flood in 2350BC through examining deeply buried lake sediment for different types of pollen.
“For this 20-year period it looked like the cereal crops the farmers were growing disappeared and the forests began to come back which meant farmers stopped farming.
“The next piece of evidence in the Irish annals says Ireland was abandoned in the same 20 years because the weather was so bad,” said Mr Crowley.
The documentary reveals another 20-year deluge of rain in the country starting in 1159BC which led to the failure of cereal crops and the beginning of Ireland’s love affair with cows as grass was the only crop suited to the rain.
“The last major weather event happens around 430AD where it appears to rain for about 10 years,” said Mr Crowley.
*Secrets of the Irish landscape, presented by Derek Mooney, starts this Sunday, May 5, on RTÉ One at 6.30pm.