The Luritja people native to the remote deserts of central Australia, once told stories about a fire devil coming down from the Sun, crashing into Earth and killing everything in the vicinity.
University of New South Wales (UNSW) astrophysicist Duane Hamacher says that the local people feared if they strayed too close to this land they might reignite some otherworldly creature. The legend describes the landing of a meteor in Australia’s Central Desert about 4,700 years ago.
It would have been a dramatic and fiery event, with the meteor blazing across the sky. As it broke apart, large fragments of metal-rich rock would have crashed to Earth with explosive force, creating a dozen giant craters.
Duane Hamacher runs an Indigenous astronomy program at UNSW, says evidence is mounting that Aboriginal stories hold clues about events from Australia’s ancient past.
“They describe this gigantic wave coming very far inland and killing everybody except those who were up on the mountaintops, and they actually name all the different locations where people survived,” says Mr Hamacher.
He and Mr Goff took core samples from locations between 500m and 1km (0.6 miles) inland, and at each spot, they found a layer of ocean sediment, about 2m down, indicating that a tsunami likely washed over the area hundreds, or possibly thousands, of years ago.
The samples need further analysis but Mr Hamacher says it is a “very exciting” result that suggests the legend could be true.
Aboriginal communities are not interested in sharing their knowledge with modern Australia.
Non-indigenous academics recognize that some Aboriginal communities are suspicious of outsiders.
Luckly Duane Hamacher says his research group has been approached by a number of Aboriginal communities keen to tell their stories.
He says this sharing must be met with a “giving back process” that benefits the Indigenous community.
You can read the full article here. Could this mean there’s even more truth in aboriginal myths and legends that we thought?