Some things are absolutely certain. The sun will rise in the east. The tide will ebb and flood. The moon will wax and wane. And summer always comes. Human civilization at its base relies on these certainties. Such absolutes have driven our agriculture, biology, calendars, and our poetry. But what happens if one of these totally reliable, completely certain events one day didn't happen? It would be as if the world had come to an end.
When the sun disappeared from the morning sky during the solar eclipse in the year 1230 AD, peasants left the fields and went back to bed, where they prayed for God to save the world. When, at the end of the last great ice age 12,000 years ago, the glaciers began to retreat and the oceans rise…. it might well be that a man named Noah set off on ark, hoping to save the last living creatures on earth. And when one year in Alaska summer never came, a tribe of Eskimos nearly died out and a creation myth was born.
Today scientists have the tools to explain some of the massive disruptions in nature's normal cycles. But surviving them is still a life and death struggle. Producer Daniel Grossman examined an Eskimo creation myth about the "year of two winters," and found that the Alaskan tale may actually have its roots thousands of miles away in Iceland. He called the story "Fire & Ice."