Could there really have been a worldwide flood?

There would be something kind-of fishy about me believing the earth was first a global fire ball and then a primordial swamp factory that produced the first life . . . but that it’s impossible the earth was ever covered with water, isn’t it?  Wouldn’t it seem as if I was deliberating avoiding the topic of a worldwide flood?

What might be the problem with me believing there was a worldwide flood (especially one that took place in recent history) if I want to believe in evolution?

  • A worldwide flood would support the Bible.
  • The “millions of years” in the fossil record would actually be evidence for the flood, since any pre-flood fossils would have gotten uprooted during the worldwide catastrophe.  This would be true regardless of whether the earth was millions of years old or only thousands.
  • The canyons could also have been formed during the flood.  People have observed quickly forming canyons: Durham’s Grand Canyon and Bulingame Canyon.  And people observed rapidly formed stratification in the Mount St. Helen’s volcanic action/earthquake/rock slide.  A worldwide flood would set off a number of disasters, as the plates of the earth were moved.

One of Ken Ham’s most famous sayings (also in a song by Buddy Davis) is that if the flood was a historical event, we should see “billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth”[1].  And we do!

Evolution science explains those fossils as having occurred over millions of years, with rock layers even billions of years old.  This science expects an old age.

Creation science explains those same fossils as having occurred mainly during a worldwide flood.  This science expects a young age.

What is different between the sciences?  Not the evidence, but the way the evidence is interpreted.

God honors our search for Truth, and He will open our hearts and minds if we truly seek Him:

Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. (Isaiah 55:6, NASB)

The Truth, and only the Truth, can give us the right worldview to interpret evidence, to understand history, to find purpose in our lives, and to prepare for the future judgment.  The issue of the worldwide flood isn’t just about rock layers or water . . . it’s ultimately about the destiny of our souls.

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31b-32, NIV)


Learn more about the worldwide flood . . .

Genesis 6-9, read free here, listen free here

[1] For example, Two Histories of Death free article by Ken Ham

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

But why didn’t the animals attack each other or Noah and his family?

Animals that didn’t get along with each other were probably placed in separate cages.  Since God gave Noah enough wisdom to construct a huge boat when nothing of that kind had ever been built before, it would make sense that God also gave Noah wisdom about animals.  No doubt, he had to know about animals dietary needs to store enough of the right kinds of food, so why wouldn’t he have had knowledge about animal behaviors, too?  Noah may have been the first zoologist!

The Bible tells us animals weren’t afraid of people until after the flood.

Carnivores were probably already eating animals at this point, but they could have lived in separate cages or pens from herbivores.  Many friendly herbivores could have been placed together, much as we see them coexist peacefully in national parks.  Care would probably have been taken to separate smaller animals from larger ones to keep them from getting squished in the small space!

The most important factor to remember when thinking about Noah’s Ark is that God was the designer and protector.  God could have intervened and simply commanded the animals to peace with each other during their time on the ark.  This is the God who shut lion mouths when Daniel was stuck in a den with them (Daniel 6).  And this is a God who made a lion stand by a donkey without eating it (1 Kings 13:24-28).  Nothing is too hard for God.  And I am not ashamed to believe that my God, who was raised from death, could give harmony to a gazelle and a lion as they were called aboard to the ark and even during their time on it if He wanted to.

God remembered Noah and all the wild and domestic animals with him in the ship. So God made a wind blow over the earth, and the water started to go down. (Genesis 8:1, GW)


See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

Were bugs on the ark? What about fish, whales, sea horses, squid . . .?

Did bugs go on the ark? (Part 1)

You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.  Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. (Genesis 6:19-20, NIV)

“All living creatures” . . . and . . .  “Two of every kind of bird”

Just because we now define birds as separate from winged insects

doesn’t mean ancient people or God did when He created them. 

If a “bird” is defined simply as a winged creature, it is accurate to see all flying insects (and bats) as birds, as well as what we now think of as birds.  It’s only because we now define birds more specifically than “flying creatures”, that we don’t consider flying insects (or bats) to be birds.

Insects have always had distinct characteristics from birds, and no one knows this so well as the Creator, but they do have a commonality with birds: flying.


Did fish go on the ark?  What about whales?  And seahorses?  And squid?  And . . .

You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.  Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. (Genesis 6:19-20, NIV)

“of every kind of animal”

Animals, in this text, were creatures that ‘move along the ground.’  Sea creatures wouldn’t have been in this ‘animal’ definition, but would have been defined in one of two other categories:

  • great creatures of the sea  (from Gen. 1:21, NIV, see also sea creatures in NLT, ESV, etc.), sea monsters (NASB, DBT, ERV), or great whales (KJV, D-RB, Webster’s)
  • every living and moving thing with which the water teems (Gen. 1:21, NIV), or with which the waters swarm (ESV) (also see NASB, NLT, WEB, etc. for similar translations) or every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly (AKJV) (also see KJV, ERV, Webster’s, etc. for similar translation)

Our modern definition of “animal” today is different from ancient and Bible times.  In the New Testament, James also excludes creatures of the sea from animals (as well as reptiles and birds):

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man (James 3:7, NIV)

Can we say it is “wrong” to define “animals” as separate from sea creatures?  In the oldest version of our English translations–the King James Version–the word “animal” does not even appear in the entire Bible!  The KJV uses “beast” in Genesis 6:7, and “cattle” in verse 20.   Obviously, we can’t accuse ancient authors of being inaccurate because they don’t match our modern definitions.  Think about “Troll the ancient yuletide carol“.  When I think of the word “troll”, I think of little critters with wrinkly faces and neon hair.  Does that mean that the song writer was wrong to use the word “troll” in such a way?

Fish and whales, not included in the ancient definition of ‘animals’, didn’t board the ark.  They didn’t need to.  While many of them would have been killed by the violent upheaval of water, some clearly survived.  God knew the sea creatures would not all die during the flood. Besides this, God says in Genesis 6:7 (KJV):

I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air

Sea creatures and every other living thing that moved in the sea were not listed in this destruction.


Did bugs go on the ark? (Part 2)

You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.  Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. (Genesis 6:19-20, NIV)

“and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground”

If winged-insects weren’t mentioned with the birds, they would be now, because all insects at one time or another move along the ground.  We need to remember that Noah only had to bring insect kinds, not species (blog #2 Even if the ark was huge, how could the animals all fit? has more information on kinds and species).

Any insects that spent their whole lives in water, would be included in

every living and moving thing with which the water teems (Gen. 1:21, NIV)


Photo of flying insects by Duncan Harris, profile on

Photo of fish by Star 5112 (John), profile on

Photo of ant by Colonel Wildturkey, profile on

Even if the ark was huge, how could all the animals have fit?

Biology class, Spring of 2001.  I suggested to my professor something like, “Couldn’t the flood in the Bible explain the fossils?”

Then came the ballistic tirade.  In the blur of my memory, the tirade of scornful questions he fired at me didn’t focus on the impossibility of a worldwide flood, but the impossibility of Noah’s ark.

I sat in stunned embarrassment.  The way he made Noah’s ark sound, it was on par with a fairy tale.  I was too frightened to say what I really should have said, no matter what scorn I received:

If God wants something to happen, it will happen.

There are more scientific responses, but, ultimately, this is where I stand.  In the words of Martin Luther, “I can do no other.”  The grace of God is too real for me to ever replace it with man’s theory[1].

In the case of Noah’s ark, God gave Noah specific directions for building the ark that show He did not choose to perform a miracle in the fitting of the animals on the ark, but rather used a manmade boat–really, what He used was Noah’s faith (see Genesis 6:22, Hebrews 11:7).

From a mathematical/scientific viewpoint, could Noah have fit all the animals on the ark?

I need to know

  • How big was the ark? (See )
  • How many animals did Noah need?

From the standpoint of believing in evolution, though, why would it be difficult to believe Noah could bring enough genetic variability aboard the ark even if the space had been small (which it wasn’t)?  The evolutionary reason, I suppose, would be time.

If Noah had millions or billions of years after the ark and before current time, from an evolutionary standpoint, he could have brought millions of protozoa on to evolve into all animals, which would have taken up hardly any space at all.  Or, he wouldn’t have even had to bring any animals at all, because sea creatures did survive.  If land animals have evolved from sea creatures, it would seem they could once again do so, though not into the same kinds.  So it seems to me that the evolutionist’s major complaint of the ark should not be space, but rather time.

Protozoa example

In any case, Noah could most certainly have fit all the animal kinds on the ark.

God many times chooses to use the laws of the universe He set up when He intervenes in our lives.  The Bible gives evidence that this is what God did with Noah, because the physical measurements of the ark are recorded as HUGE (see Genesis 6:15), and because God earlier in Genesis gives us the key to understanding how the animals could have fit.

To understand this key, we need to go back to Genesis 1.  There, we find a big difference between the “kinds” of plants and animals God created . . . and what we identify as species.  A “kind” is the group an animal (or plant) belongs to, at the top of which is the singular animal (or plant) with the full genetic information for the kind.

At the top of each kind, the animal pair taken on the ark would have had rich genetic variability opportunity, able to lead to all the species that resulted in offspring from different expression of the genes.  The top of each kind would have both dominant and recessive genes to pass down to offspring.

I don’t know what was at the top of the dog kind, but we do know what is at the top of the dogs we see today: wolves[2].  Basset hounds, poodles, dalmatians, chihuahuas, etc, are all later offspring of wolves[3, 4].  Of course these breeds weren’t around in Noah’s day, so when he took this dog kind aboard the ark, he would have only had to take two “dogs” (probably something like the wolves we have today).

When I think about the “kinds” described in Genesis, I see how it is possible for animals to fit on the ark: the bear kind would probably have only two bears, the snail kind two snails, the seal kind two seals, and so on.

After the fall, when Adam sinned, animals began dying.  Right then, the concept of “survival of the fittest” (which Darwin described) would have first come into play.  In survival of the fittest, the offspring would, over time, lose genetic information as a result of location, environmental changes, predators, or human breeding.

The fall of mankind was about 2,000 years before the flood, so there had already been speciation by the time the animals were boarding Noah’s ark.  But when God chose the particular animals that would go into the ark, He chose those with a vast diversity still within their genetic code (like how, today, if we could save only two dogs, we would be much better to save wolves, which could be theoretically bred back down into collies, dachshunds, bulldogs, etc., than to save just one particular breed of dogs, like, for example, poodles.  Sorry poodles[5].)

John Woodmorappe calculated that Noah would need about 8,000 different kinds of animals, including animal kinds we’ve found in the fossil record that we don’t have anymore (like dinosaurs)[6].  Since Noah had two of each kind of most animals (a few special ones he had seven of each kind), an approximation for how much space on the 1.52 million cubit feet volume of the ark these animals would need would be less than half (even with allowance for movement)[6].  This would leave room for food for the animals and 8 people . . . and more importantly, this would have left room for more people.

They are like those who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah when God waited patiently while Noah built the ship. In this ship a few people-eight in all-were saved by water. (1 Peter 3:20, GWT)


Photo courtesy of, accessed on Flickr from Yasser, profile on  The official name of this protozoa is “Giardia Lamblia trophozoite”.

[1] If I believe in God and God wants every species on the earth to fit inside a matchbox, can He?  Unquestionably.  God created the universe and all the natural laws within.

[2] For a more in depth discussion see the article Did God create poodles? by Ken Ham, from Creation 25(4): 19-22, September 2003, see

[3] A Potpourri of Pooches by Peter Tyson, January 1, 2004, NOVA,

[4] For more detailed information, see One Blood, One Race DVD or Only One Race DVD

[5] I love poodles and one of my all-time favorite dogs was a poodle.  I’d rather have the poodle than the wolf, although all we would have from that point on would be “oodles of poodles” (to use the phrase Lynda Lippman-Lockhart coined in her book by the same name).  But there’s a running poodle joke at Answers in Genesis, so I had to throw this in.  🙂

[6] Were Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark, Creation Ministries International

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

How would just 8 people feed (and water) all the animals on the ark?

John Woodmorappe calculated that Noah would need about 8,000 different kinds of animals on the ark[1].  There’s no way 8 people could feed 8,000 animal kinds every day without a miracle.  But God doesn’t given us any indication the animal caretaking on the ark was a miracle.  In fact, God told Noah to store up food.

“You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” (Genesis 6:21, NIV)

If the 8,000 animal kinds is correct, each person on the ark would have to feed 1,000 animal kinds a day . . . or would they?

  • In zoos, animal kinds are usually in separate cages from each other, showcasing the different kinds, making the zoo experience last longer, and creating a habitat and dietary regiment especially for that animal.  But on the ark, Noah wasn’t getting paid admission by his family members to view the animals!  Most likely, similar animals kinds were placed in the same cages together, not only making less construction work, but also simplifying feeding times.
  • Although different herbivore animals do prefer different kinds of vegetation, many can get by with a hodgepodge of grass and vegetables.  Animals that could get along with each other (like deer, goats, sheep, cattle) could have been caged together.
  • The animals arrived on the ark without harming each other because God sent them to Noah (see Genesis 7:8-9).  We are also told that animals did not fear people until after the flood (see Genesis 9:2).  Feeding and watering the animals would have been a much easier job if many like-dieted animals could have been placed in large cages together.
  • God didn’t give permission for humans to eat animals until after the flood (see Genesis 9:3).  That might mean that animals also did not eat meat before the flood.  Animals may have attacked each other before the flood (see Genesis 6:11-12, which focuses on human violence).  Noah would not have placed animals together who couldn’t get along.  God could have, however, simply given the animals peace on their time on the ark, the way he stopped lions for gobbling Daniel down for dinner (see Daniel 6).
  • Every animal didn’t have to be fed every day.  The Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Kentucky shows one way animals could have been fed efficiently: by placing jars filled with enough food to last weeks in a slot that would allow the jar to tip as the animal ate the food out of the chute.  Not all animals could be fed this way.  Giant animals, like the brachiosaurus and elephant would have probably required hauling food over each time, due to their massive diets.  However, they did not necessarily eat every day.  Zoos are (ideally) optimal environments for animals.  The ark was an emergency shelter.  Animals may have been fed fewer times than ideal.
  • Some animals, like bears and some amphibians and reptiles could have hibernated part of the time, since they were on the ark for over a year.
  • Water could have been “piped into troughs” like the Chinese have done for thousands of years[2].
  • Okay, but what about animal waste?  How would it have been cleaned up?  Would it have been toxic?  The movement of the ark would have helped prevent methane build-up, as would the window, when it was opened.  Noah may have constructed the ark with slanted floors and gutters to make clean-up easier [2].

Noah’s family probably had about a year of the worst work of their life on the ark.  But the God who gives strength to make all His work possible would have no trouble giving Noah and his family the strength they needed for the trip.

Everything is possible with God. (Jesus, quoted in Mark 10:27c, NLT)


For a more in-depth study see the resources below.

[1] Were Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark, Creation Ministries International,

[2] Caring for the Animals on the Ark, Answers in Genesis, John Woodmorappe, March 29, 2007,

See Copyright Page for Bible Translation information.

#4 But what about the dinosaurs?

If you’ve been following my blogs about Noah’s Ark, first of all I humbly thank you.  You might remember my professor who belittled me in front of the class when I brought up a global flood as an explanation for fossils.  I was not only caught off guard and embarrassed, but he started scornfully tossing questions and remarks at me without giving me more than, oh, maybe 3 seconds to respond to each one.  (He did give me 5 or so generous seconds after the last statement before he moved on.)  I can’t remember much of what he said, but one question has stuck with me,

Do you really think Noah took a T-rex on the ark? 

I remember the contempt on his face.  And then he moved on with his presentation.

So, what about the dinosaurs?  The length of a tyrannosaurus seems to have been somewhere between about 40 and 50 feet long[1,2,3,4,5].  But that’s kiddie stuff compared to the seismosaurus at between 110 and 150 feet long[6,7,8,9].  The most reliable estimate seems to be around 110-115 feet long [10], making this dinosaur more than twice the length of t-rex!

A t-rex may have weighed between about 6 and 9 tons [1,2,3,4,5].  But that’s a lightweight compared to a brachiosaurus at somewhere between about 27 to 54 tons [9,11,12,13] with apparent uncertainty[13].

How could Noah have possibly gotten such humongous dinosaurs on the ark?  And what about their appetites?  And how were they kept from tearing up the ark?

Well, I’m making the assumption that God called only older animals on the ark.  But it would have made a lot more sense for God to call younger animals on the ark.  Not only would younger dinosaurs save on space, but they would also live longer and be more likely to bear enough offspring to keep the dinosaur kind alive after the ark.

In fact, the biggest dinosaur egg ever found was only around the size of a football[14]!  What’s more, dinosaurs were reptiles, and reptiles grow their whole lives[15,16], the biggest growth occurring in the first few years and slowing down after that[17,18].  Noah was only on the ark between 370 and 375 days[19, 20], so these reptiles would not have even reached the end of their largest growth spurt.

The dinosaur fossils we see that are huge may have been older dinosaurs.

This is not at all to say all the dinosaurs on the ark stayed small the entire time.  Even if they were brought on boards very young, some would have grown significantly.  But I must keep in mind that the average size of a dinosaur is about that of a sheep or small horse[21,22,23].  At the Creation Museum in Kentucky, they have a scale model of the ark, and they show large dinosaurs going aboard, too.  There mathematically was room for even larger dinosaurs, like t-rex and bracchiosaurus.

The ark was at least 450′ x 75′ x 45′ [24].  Measuring by “school buses” we can get an idea of scale: the ark was almost 12 long x 10 wide x 4 high[25]!  Alternatively, about 569 modern railroad stock cars[24].  That’s a lot of room!

The other thing to remember about dinosaurs is that God didn’t have to bring every dinosaur on for which we’ve found a fossil today.  There were kinds of dinosaurs, too, like the sauropod kind.  There may have been 50-55 kinds of dinosaurs[26,27].  Just as not all dog breeds would be required to bring about two dog kinds (nor indeed were there dalmatians or greyhounds or chihuahuas at the time of Noah’s ark, but probably something like wolves), not all dinosaur species (or “breeds”) would be required to bring the dinosaur kinds.  Each dinosaur kind brought could have had great genetic variability, like wolves have today.

I didn’t have all these arguments back in the biology class of 2001.  But, you know what?  Even if I had, would my biology teacher have been convinced?  Would he have even acknowledged that a flood could be a possible explanation?  Or would he have grown more and more outraged and hostile?

Ultimately, no amount of evidence can “convince” someone of something.  Being “convinced”, or believing something, stems from worldview.  The conflict between evolutionists and creationists isn’t science vs. religion, but instead a clash of worldviews.  Starting from the belief there is no God will yield very different interpretations to evidence than starting with the belief that God does exist, and He has made Himself known through His Word.

Worldviews make it easy for us to make decisions.  For the evolutionist who is convinced there is no God [28], it’s easy to dismiss interpretations of evidence that suggests God.  For the creationist who is convinced God is, it’s easy to dismiss interpretations of evidence that suggest against God.

The peace of mind I and other Christian creationists have should never be that we know how to interpret all the evidence, or that we are always sure we are right about a particular scientific discovery.  No, the peace of mind we have is that we have the right worldview.

God has hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ. (Colossians 2:3, GW)

See Copyright Page for translation information.


[1] Dinosaur Timeline Gallery, Dinosaur Corporation(r)

[2] Dino Dictionary,

[3] Tyrannosaurus, Wikipedia,

[4] Jurassic Park Wikia,

[5] The Tyrant Lizards:The Tyrannosauridae, UCMP,

[6] How Stuff Works: Seismosaurus, Editors of Publications International,

[7] Dino Dictionary

[8] Seismosaur Cut Down To Size, ScienceDaily, Geological Society Of America, November 12, 2004,­ /releases/2004/11/041108020944.htm

[9] Dinosaurs–Living Large, Answers in Genesis, Marcus Ross, November 21, 2009,

[10] Going by the ScienceDaily article and AnswersinGenesis website, respectively.

[11] Dino Dictionary,

[12] 10 Facts about Brachiosaurus,,

[13] Brachiosaurus, Wikipedia,

[14] What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?, Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, October 25, 2007,

[15] Herpetology: Frequently Asked Questions, San Diego Natural History Museum,

[16] World’s Smallest Dinosaur Footprint, Evidence Web,

[17] Reptile Growth and Development, Ehow, Jacob S.,

[18] General Information, Applegate Reptiles, Robert Applegate,

[19] How Long was Noah in the Ark?, Reverend Earl Cripe,

[20] The reason we are not sure of the exact number of days is because the ancient year may have been slightly different from ours, see note [19].

[21] Concise Answers on Video, Answers Magazine, October-December 2009

[22] How Did Dinosaurs Grow So Big? And How Did Noah Fit Them on the Ark?, Creation Ministries International, Jonathan Sarfati, Creation
28(1):44–47, December 2005

[23] I did some research to try to discover a secular viewpoint of the average size of a dinosaur and discovered that, because evolutionists separate dinosaurs into different time periods, they are not nearly so inclined to speak of average size.  I did find one secular article that compared the average size of a dinosaur to a car.  (Dinosaur size,  That would be all right for two reasons: 1) The dinosaurs could have been brought on board when they were very young, 2)The ark was almost 12 school buses across and almost 4 high and 10 wide.  There is room to fit 50-55 kinds of car-sized dinosaurs with lots of room left over for the other kinds of animals, food, and Noah and his family (see note [24]!

[24] Could Noah’s Ark Really Hold All the Animals That Were Supposed to Be Preserved from the Flood? Christian Answers, Eden Communications,

[25] Kids’ Answers: Noah’s Ark Bookmark!,

[26] How Can We Use Dinosaurs to Spread the Creation Gospel Message,

[27] Were Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?, Creation Ministries International,

[28] There are theistic evolutionists, people who believe in evolution but that God created the initial matter.  There are difficulties with believing this, however.  Answers in Genesis is a great place to explore these reasons.  I also have a blog about it titled 3 takes on what we are doing here: a creationist, and evolutionist, and a creation-evolutionist.

All websites accessed 8-8-2011 or 8-9-2011.

If only “kinds” of animals went on the ark and not species . . . why was the ark so BIG?

When we realize that animal kinds went on the ark and not species, we realize there was actually too much room!  Ken Ham points out:

“Why did [Noah] build a boat so big?  Because God is a gracious God, and people could have gone on that ark to be saved.”[1]

Those words haunt: “People could have gone on that ark to be saved.”


As Mr. Ham points out, the ark sat for seven days after completion and after all the animals were aboard, but before the door was closed.  And since the Bible tells us Noah was

a preacher of righteousness (from 2 Peter 2:5, KJV, NIV, NASB, etc.)

He was probably outside preaching, trying and trying to get people to believe in God’s judgment and climb aboard the ark for safety.

But once the door was shut, the door was shut.

That is the most important part to remember about the flood and the ark: the ark was the only salvation.

Sometimes we can get so bogged down in doubt that we lose the big picture: the ark was the only salvation.

When that door closed, it was closed.  God shut it, and and it did not open back up until all people not aboard the ark were destroyed.

I don’t want to be on the outside of the ark the moment the door is shut, watching waves build in the horizon and feeling the earth shake under my feet.  I want to be inside the ark.

My faith is in Jesus Christ, my Ark.

I want you to be inside the ark, too.

Don’t wait until it is too late.

Someone asked him [Jesus], “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.  Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’” (Luke 13:23-25, NIV)

“I am the Way,” (Jesus, quoted in John 14:6a, WNT)

[1] Already Gone DVD, Ken Ham

Published in: on July 29, 2011 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  

How could all the animals fit on the ark?

Not like this.

Illustration by Dan Lietha, © Answers in Genesis 2005, used by written permission.

Poor Mrs. Elephant.  Only she knows the “ark” is about to become bark.

This picture shows how goofy we become when we do not carefully read the Word of God.  (By the way, are those little aliens in the second window to the right?  They might as well be; they’re not going to survive either.)

The pictures we usually see of the ark are no good for representing the historical event.  Although these pretend “Noah’s arks” may make a nursery room, what they don’t make is sense.

There was no “patio” on which elephants stood and a big ol’ hole in the roof for the giraffes heads to stick out.  Actually, there was only one window in the ark (see Genesis 6:16).  That window would, of course, have been closed during the turbulence–and in fact Genesis 8:6 tells us it was–and only opened after the ark landed on Mount Ararat (see Genesis 8:4 and 8:6).

Besides all this, pictures of the ark like the spoofed “floating bathtub” above (as Ken Ham says) don’t show the ark to the scale given in the Bible.  The ark is the wrong scale for the elephants, for example.  An ark this small couldn’t possibly fit every kind of land animal without miraculous intervention of space.  God could have chosen to work that way, but we know He didn’t, because of how the Bible describes the ark:

And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. (Genesis 6:15, NKJV)

When in Genesis 6:15 the length, height, and width are described in “cubits”, we need to visit ancient standards of measurement.  Cubits, translated to modern measurements, would be approximately:

450-510 feet long (meters)

75-85 feet wide (meters)

45-51 feet high (meters)[1, 2, 3]

So the ark wasn’t a boat the way we think of boats today, but rather a ship.

The description of the ark doesn’t read like a fairy tale or myth, but rather as directions–directions given from God to Noah:

“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.  (Genesis 6:14-16, NASB)


[1] Feedback: Was Noah’s Ark Shaped Like a Box? by Bodie Hodge, January 21, 2011,, accessed July 28, 2011

[2] Make Your Own Kids’ Answers Noah’s Ark Bookmark, gives an the perspective of about how many school buses long, wide, and tall this would be,, accessed July 28, 2011

[3] See how the NIV or NLT translates cubits, for example.  We don’t know which ancient measurements for cubits was used for certain, and so we don’t know the exact measurements for the ark.  But the variations in possible cubit length yield a large ark regardless, as we would expect for a ship built for animals of every kind (and most of all for Noah’s family).

Recommended Resources

Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box DVD, Tim Lovett, Answers in Genesis

Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box, Tim Lovett, Answers in Genesis

How well designed was Noah’s Ark? DVD

Thinking Outside the Box by Tim Lovett, Answers in Genesis Magazine, July-September 2011, p. 75-79

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