Noah's Ark

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Noah's Ark
The replica of Noah's ark shown above is 1/75 scale. For comparison purposes, both the railroad stockcar and model of the sailing ship Pinta (one of Columbus' ships) are also at the same 1/75 scale model size.[1]
Owner Noah
Type Barge, livestock
Authorized 1 Eitanim 1536 AM (4 October 2469 BC)
Keel laid 1 Abib 1536 AM (30 March 2468 BC)
Launched 17 Bul 1656 AM (12 November 2349 BC)
Commissioned 10 Bul 1656 AM (5 November 2349 BC)
Status Grounded; sightings disputed
Displacement 21,600 metric tons (est.)[2]
Length 300 long cubits (157.2 m)
Beam 50 long cubits (26.2 m)
Draft 10 long cubits (5.24 m, est.)[3]
Crew 8

Noah's Ark (or the Ark) was a large seafaring vessel referred to in the book of Genesis. It was built by Noah at the command and instruction of God, in response to the evil of man at the time. God told Noah that he would destroy the earth with a flood, and only Noah, his family, and some animals would be saved in the ship.

Three massive replicas of Noah's Ark exist today, partly or fully constructed: one in the Netherlands,[4] one in Kentucky, and one near Miami, Florida.

The Ark

Genesis 6:13-22 (God's blueprints)
Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.


The vessel was constructed with gopher wood, which was covered with a layer of pitch (a kind of tar). Scholars, although not sure, posit a number of possibilities for what gopher wood represents, including mahogany, zebra wood, cambriatic wood, cypress, and ebony.[5]

Tools used in construction

Technology used by Noah was most probably comparable to technology used by ancient Egyptians.
Did Noah cut out the ark with an adze?
Some illustrations show an old bearded Noah chipping away at a log with an adze. Some portray Noah belonging to a 'primitive' culture of nomadic herdsmen, who never made anything more advanced than a tent-pole and a clay bowl. The evidence disputes this. From the 'dawn' of civilization (which is really the 2nd dawn - after the flood), man's ingenuity and technical achievements are astounding. So much so that they are considered ancient 'mysteries', or even 'evidence' of high-tech alien visitations. The evolutionary mindset implies a gradually increasing level of technology which suddenly boomed a few centuries ago. Not so in the diggings. Some of the most ancient Egyptian artefacts defy a simple explanation for their manufacture - from the precisely machined granite vase to the huge accurate pyramids and buildings. And these are the bits that survived some 4000 years![6]

Interior design and dimensions

There were three stories which were divided into multiple rooms. There is only a single window and door recorded for the whole ark, but possibly because these were the most important ones. The dimensions were three hundred cubits long by fifty cubits wide by thirty cubits high (Gen. 6:15), which equates to approximately 450 feet long, by 75 feet wide, by 45 feet high.

Construction time

Ark construction: Photo of a scaled model at the Creation Museum. This was taken by Conservapedia user TerryH.
The Bible does not really tell us an exact number of years for the amount of time it took to construct this monstrous vessel. However, the first mention of Noah in Genesis 5:32 says, "Noah was five hundred years old," and then in 7:6 it says, "Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth." But concerning God's relationship with man, the Bible says this:

Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." Genesis 6:3 (NASB)

Though some suggest that this was a reference to human life expectancy post-Flood, others point out that the life expectancy of man did not decline abruptly, but gradually, over at least fifteen generations. So the 120 years might also refer to a prophetic warning given 120 years in advance of the Great Flood. So it can really only be said that it took a maximum of 120 years to construct the ark, from the time God had given him the command to when he actually finished and was in the ship.

We are told later that Noah was a "preacher of righteousness", so presumably did not work full-time on the construction of the ark, but also spent time preaching. We also don't know whether or not he employed hired labour in its construction. The ark may have been constructed in a much shorter time than the maximum 120 years.


To endure several months in the open sea, the wooden hull of Noah's ark must have a certain minimum strength. Factors such as uneven cargo distribution, increased length or a more "block shaped" hull (block coefficient) accentuate the need for a strong hull. Another factor is the severity of the sea state.[7]

Research by staff members of the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Engineering, Taejon, showed that the ark "could have navigated sea conditions with waves higher than 30 metres".[8]


Noah's Ark - Rod Walsh.jpg

Noah was instructed, by God, to take aboard the Ark his wife, his three sons and their wives, male and female pairs of all the "unclean" kinds of creatures, seven (or seven pairs) each of the "clean" kinds, and enough food and supplies for everyone (Gen. 6:18-7:3; 7:6, 11).

Maiden Voyage

The ark was afloat for about a year, and finally came to rest somewhere in the mountains of Ararat. This is believed by many to be the mountains in modern Turkey which bear that name (Gen. 8:4).

Searching for the Ark

If the Mount Ararat in present-day Turkey is indeed the Mount Ararat on which the ark came to rest, then the ark must have been covered, rotted away, moved or disassembled since then because it is not visible on the surface.[9]

Durupinar site

In 1977, Ron Wyatt promoted a site on the lower slopes of Mount Ararat which he claimed was the remnants of Noah's Ark.[10] However, his findings have since been discredited by a variety of sources including mainstream archaeologists and other Young Earth Creationists[11] prompting Creation Ministries International and Answers in Genesis, two of the world's largest creationist ministries, to make a general statement that Young Earth Creationists should not use Wyatt's claims since they are at best highly dubious.[12][13][14]

Ark story "hidden" in Chinese characters

It has been noted by several researchers[15][16] that the Chinese character for a "large ship/boat/vessel"[17] is a combination of the characters for "boat,"[18] "eight"[19] and "mouth/person."[20] Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives totaled eight mouths/people.


Supporters of Noah's ark contend that such a craft was entirely possible for ancients to build and would have been very seaworthy whereas the Epic of Gilgamesh's ark was not seaworthy.[21][22][23][24] The nautical engineering firm Shearer and Associates wrote regarding the ark that it would have been structurally sound and would have had sufficient stability and buoyancy for the cargo carried.[25]

Objections to Noah's Ark include the following:

  • a lack of room for all the animals, usually on the basis of the biblical reference to kinds being the same as species. Supporters of the account reject that kinds is to be equated with species, so use a much lower number.
  • The difficulty of the eight humans on board to care for all the creatures on board.
  • The difficulty some animals would have getting unaided to or from the ark, especially those adapted to a specific habitat.
  • The difficulties surviving in the post-flood environment

Young Earth Creationists have written a number of responses to such criticisms, such as John Woodmorappe's Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study[26] which argues that kinds is not to be equated with species, and that there would therefore be a much smaller number of creatures on the ark, and that there are ways that the humans on board could have cared for all the creatures on board. Creationary geologists have also pointed out that much of the Earth's geology is sedimentary (water-laid) rocks, as one would expect from a global flood.

A study by University of Leicester physicists proves that the Ark is large enough for all the animals it had to carry.[27]

See also

External links


  1. Scale model replica of Noah's ark -
  2. Calculated from length, beam, and estimated draft.
  3. The height of this vessel when in "drydock" was 30 long cubits.
  5. What is “Gopher Wood”?
  6. WWF: Ancient Technology
  7. WWF: Wave Bending Moment
  8. Hong, S.W., Na, S.S., Hyun, B.S., Hong, S.Y., Gong, D.S., Kang, K.J., Suh, S.H., Lee, K.H., and Je, Y.G., Safety investigation of Noah’s Ark in a seaway, Journal of Creation 8(1):26–36, April 1994.
  11. Snelling, Andrew, Special report: Amazing ‘Ark’ exposé, Creation 14(4):26–38 September 1992.
  13. Arguments we think creationists should NOT use (Creation Ministries International)
  16. The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language, C. H. Kang and Ethel R. Nelson, Concordia College (publisher), 1979
  25. The Past of Our Future: Secrets of Noah’s Ark