How big was Noah’s Ark?

Children’s books and toys of Noah’s Ark often lead to another objection about the truthfulness of the Flood—how did all the animals fit in there? Genesis 6:15-16 gives us the dimension; it was 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high. So imagine a four story building that is one and one-half football fields long and you’ve got the Ark! Those dimensions would provide over 1.5 million cubic feet of space, or the equivalent of 520 railroad boxcars. That’s a big box in which to store stuff!

Noah, his family, and the animals were on the Ark for a little over a year (Genesis 7:11 and 8:14), so they needed to store sufficient food and water. John Woodmorappe’s Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study estimated that less than half of the Ark’s decks would have been needed for animals and their cages. The rest could be for storage of food, water, and for people. How is this possible? According to Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study, at most 16,000 animals were needed to preserve the created kinds God had made originally. However, other creation scientists have estimated the number of creatures to be approximately 35,000. In any event, the key is this: “only the parent ‘kinds’ of these species were required to be on board in order to repopulate the earth. For example, only two dogs were needed to give rise to all the dog species that exist today.” Noah did not have to take two of every single species on the planet that we have today.

Moreover, taking young animals of each kind aboard would be a smart move. They would have required less space, eaten less food, and produced less waste. Furthermore, these juveniles would be able to repopulate the earth after the Flood with many more generations than older animals. So the dimensions provide not only ample space for Noah’s family, the animals, and supplies, but the dimensions would also provide amazing stability in the water. A ship research study found that the dimensions of the Ark were the most seaworthy of twelve ships, combining comfort, stability, and strength. As a matter of fact, the Ark’s design is so strong that it could handle waves as high as 100 feet. Another study found that the Ark was almost impossible to capsize. With 120 years and information provided by God to construct the Ark (Genesis 6:3; 14-16), Noah did not build a child’s toy; it was a huge barge, meant to float for months in an open sea.

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