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When was the first time the flood was found?

OP Z Crumb

At first, I thought the that Halo Wars is the first time that they spotted the flood, but they talk about it like they know what it is!

I'm just confused about that. Please explain!
I believe Serina lets them know that there are unknown lifeforms on the shield world they arrive at after following after Anders' signal. When Forge sees it he says it's uglier than the Covenant. That's a bit of an underwhelming intro, but I know for sure the Flood hadn't been discovered before.
Z Crumb wrote:
At first, I thought the that Halo Wars is the first time that they spotted the flood, but they talk about it like they know what it is!

I'm just confused about that. Please explain!
Based on that cutscene on Harvest where the arbiter talks to that elite, the coveneant clearly have seen / fought the flood before. However the shield world is (as far as I can tell) the first time humanity encountered the flood...
Spoiler:
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... and because there are no records for Serina or Captain Cutter to access on the flood, it is possible that either the UNSC has no idea what it is or other UNSC groups have met the flood prior but weren't able to survive to report it to command.
Z Crumb wrote:
At first, I thought the that Halo Wars is the first time that they spotted the flood, but they talk about it like they know what it is!

I'm just confused about that. Please explain!
Did that clear things up for you or are you still confused?
i rember serina found a flood biomas
The flood was found in Halo: Combat Evolved's sixth campaign mission known as 343 Guilty Spark.
Unofficially, it was found by the Spirit of Fire crew in Shield World 0459, but since it was located in an unknown chunk of space and Spirit lost their slipspace drive, intel about them never reached the UNSC.
Officially however, it was discovered in Installation 04/Alpha Halo by numerous individuals in numerous occasions. Johnson and Keyes' squad, Cortana (as she was inserted in the control room's terminal) and Chief. Since Chief and Cortana survived, intel reached the UNSC. And oh boi how ONI quickly did their thing. The Mona Lisa still gives me nightmares.