A story belonging to Native American mythology. Briefly:
Whale was a monster, killing other whales and depriving the people of meat and oil. Thunderbird, a benevolent supernatural being, saw from its home high in the mountains that the people were starving. It soared out over the coastal waters, then plunged into the ocean and seized Whale. A struggle ensued; the ocean receded and rose again. Many canoes were flung into trees and many people were killed. Thunderbird eventually succeeded in lifting evil Whale out of the ocean, carrying it high into the air and then dropping it. Then another great battle occurred on land.
(Someone please expand this story!)
In the 1980s, geologists found evidence that an earthquake, powerful enough to send a tsunami all the way to Japan, hit the American Pacific Northwest in 1700. Some ethnologists believe that "Thunderbird and Whale" is a description of that disaster.