Qingyuan flooded, April 2024

These images are from news reports from the metropolis in the Guangdong province, Southern China. The region experienced massive floodings in April 2024 once more due to intense rain. It’s not a coastal city, instead Qingyuan has been repeatedly flooded by water from the Bei Jiang river.

‘Extremes will become normal’

Quote by Lam Chiu-ying, former director of the Hong Kong Observatory, the central weather forecast agency of the government of Hong Kong, from an article in the Hong Kong Free Press about the Black Rainstorm and massive deluge of the week of September 4. 2023.

Here is a selection of photo images and video stills from international media coverage from September 9. 2023.


A very big shark and an underwater habitat for the rich

The action movie Meg was released in 2018 and did surprisingly well at the box offices, considering that the shark-vs-man plot seems so outdated and overdone. Apparently it was two decades in the making and it feels a bit like it too watching it. Nevertheless, there is a sequel already in cinemas now testifying to it’s apparent appeal.

The first half of the film is essentially an underwater movie and thus I found it worth analyzing for this blog. The most striking aspect of this underwater scenario seemed to me the interior design of the habitat. As opposed to the usual submarine research base, this submarine station looks a lot more like the rescue bunkers currently advertised for billionaires across the globe or the luxury ocean resorts by South-African hotel mogul Sol Kerzner. Compare this image from the movie and the one from an ad for “Atlantis Hotel” in Sanya Bay, China, below:

This is clearly not coincidental: The second half of the movie plot is prominently set in this very Sanya Bay, currently a prime Chinese tourist destination. The movie is a US-American-Chinese co-production and there are clearly visible marketing intentions at play here. (I have written about the Atlantis hotel group elsewhere in this blog.)

There is also a scene in the movie indicating quite directly the connection between the taste of the mega-rich and this kind of submarine design: Towards the beginning of the movie the US-American Billionaire who finances the research station comes to visit. Entering a freight elevator to go down to the station, he expresses his disdain with the raggedy look of the elevator’s inside, calling it inappropriate for such an expensive research project. He is than relieved to find that the station itself looks much more to his taste.

Here are two more images, with the first one being clearly reminiscent of hotel resorts (with a little girl frolicking along) and the second of the type of sleek office design favored by global market players:

The interior design tells us that this project is actually catering to the taste and needs of the wealthy class more than to science. The topic of submarine refuge is never touched upon verbally in the movie but the images speak quite loudly too, I think. One can’t help notice the stark difference to earlier movies about (and the reality of) submarine research and thus the attractiveness of these fictional rooms.

As billionaires in the real world continue to publicly participate in person in all kinds of enterprises that were once reserved for scientists only, the work environments change accordingly. This of course makes the whole enterprise highly questionable in scientific terms. And I am afraid we are going to see more of this in the future – in film and real life. (See also my post on rich men’s rescue schemes here.)

A Chinese Flood and Creation Myth

(This text is from the site by the University of Pittsburg.)

“The Miao people in Southern China have no written records, but they have many legends in verse, which they learn to repeat and sing. The Hei Miao (or Black Miao, so called from their dark chocolate-colored clothes) treasure poetical legends of the creation and of a deluge. These are composed in lines of five syllables, in stanzas of unequal length, one interrogative and one responsive. They are sung or recited by two persons or two groups at feasts and festivals, often by a group of youths and a group of maidens. The legend of the creation commences:

Who made heaven and earth?
Who made insects?
Who made men?
Made male and made female?
I who speak don’t know.

Heavenly King made heaven and earth,
Ziene made insects,
Ziene made men and demons,
Made male and made female.
How is it you don’t know?

How made heaven and earth?
How made insects?
How made men and demons?
Made male and made female?
I who speak don’t know.

Heavenly King was intelligent,
Spat a lot of spittle into his hand,
Clapped his hands with a noise,
Produced heaven and earth,
Tall grass made insects,
Stories made men and demons,
Made men and demons,
Made male and made female.
How is it you don’t know?

The legend proceeds to state how and by whom the heavens were propped up and how the sun was made and fixed in its place.

The legend of the flood tells of a great deluge. It commences:

Who came to the bad disposition,
To send fire and burn the hill?
Who came to the bad disposition,
To send water and destroy the earth?
I who sing don’t know.

Zie did. Zie was of bad disposition,
Zie sent fire and burned the hill;
Thunder did. Thunder was of bad disposition,
Thunder sent water and destroyed the earth.
Why don’t you know?

In this story of the flood only two persons were saved in a large bottle gourd used as a boat, and these were A-Zie and his sister. After the flood the brother wished his sister to become his wife, but she objected to this as not being proper. At length she proposed that one should take the upper and one the lower millstone, and going to opposite hills should set the stones rolling to the valley between. If these should be found in the valley properly adjusted one above the other, she would be his wife, but not if they came to rest apart.

The young man, considering it unlikely that two stones thus rolled down from opposite hills would be found in the valley, one upon another, while pretending to accept the test suggested, secretly placed two other stones in the valley, one upon the other. The stones rolled from the hills were lost in the tall wild grass, and on descending into the valley, A-Zie called his sister to come and see the stones he had placed.

She, however, was not satisfied, and suggested as another test that each should take a knife from a double sheath and, going again to the opposite hilltops, hurl them into the valley below. If both these knives were found in the sheath in the valley, she would marry him, but if the knives were found apart, they would live apart.

Again the brother surreptitiously placed two knives in the sheath, and, the experiment ending as A-Zie wished, his sister became his wife. They had one child, a misshapen thing without arms or legs, which A-Zie in great anger killed and cut to pieces. He threw the pieces all over the hill, and next morning, on awakening, he found these pieces transformed into men and women. Thus the earth was re-peopled.

  • Source: E. T. C. Werner, Myths and Legends of China (London: George G. Harrap and Company, 1922), pp. 406-408.
  • Edited by D. L. Ashliman. © 2002-2003.

Flooding in Guanxi, China

Flooding in Guangxi. Images provided by Damien Manspeaker (@too_much_yogurt/Instagram)

The Great Flood of Gun-Yu

The Great Flood of Gun-Yu (Chinese: 鯀禹治水), also known as the Gun-Yu myth, was a major flood event in ancient China that allegedly continued for at least two generations, which resulted in great population displacements among other disasters, such as storms and famine. People left their homes to live on the high hills and mounts, or nest on the trees. According to mythological and historical sources, it is traditionally dated to the third millennium BCE, or about 2300-2200 BCE, during the reign of Emperor Yao.

Emperor Yu and the great flood

Treated either historically or mythologically, the story of the Great Flood and the heroic attempts of Emperor Yu and various human characters to control it and to abate the disaster is a narrative fundamental to Chinese Culture. Among other things, the Great Flood of China is key to understanding the history of the founding of both the Xia dynasty and the Zhou dynasty, it is also one of the main flood motifs in Chinese mythology, and it is a major source of allusion in Classical Chinese poetry.

from wikipedia

see also this article about the geological facts behind this and other flood myths.

Emperor Yu once more, batteling the flood and a dragon.
A statue of Yu The Great in today’s China

Mazu: Taoist Goddess of the Sea

The bronze statue in the center depicts Mazu or Matsu, the chinese sea goddess, who is particularly popular in Taiwan and Chinese communities outside of mainland China. This monument is at Chengshan Peak (成山头 Chéngshāntóu), in the harbur city Weihai on the Chinese east coast. According to wikipedia: “Today, Mazuism is practiced in about 1.500 temples in 26 countries around the world, mostly in the Sinosphere or the overseas Chinese communities such as that of the predominantly Hokkien Philippines.” The first mentions of Mazu are from the 10. Century AD.

Atlantis: The Hotel

Atlantis in Dubai

Atlantis on the Bahamas

Atlantis in Sanya, China

All three images are from the sites of the Atlantis hotel group: https://www.atlantis.com/

Hong Kong Bay

… with wall to protect the city from the creatures of the deep in the movie Pacific Rim (2013)

and now, or rather, in reality…

USA, China; 21. Century; Christian; Movie; City: Hong Kong