An evangelical Christian research team, Noah’s Ark Ministries International, announced that it believes it has found the Biblical Noah’s Ark in a glacier atop Mt. Arafat in Turkey. With carbon dating to back its claim, Noah’s Ark Ministries International is 99% certain its find is genuine according to film-maker Yeung Wing-Cheung who is affiliated with the ministry.
While not the first evangelical group purporting to have found Noah’s Ark, Yeung’s group noted that the structure they found contained compartments that could have been used to house animals. The find they describe as Noah’s Ark is built of 8 foot wide planks, some of them 20 feet in length.
Without getting into excessive debate about the dimensions of this Noah’s Ark find, it would be interesting to see the researchers address some basic questions about the structure’s suitability for the purpose described in Genesis, transporting a pair of animals of each species and sufficient food to sustain them for a period of approximately 370 days.
Focusing on the food for a moment, can the researchers tell us whether this putative Noah’s Ark was capable of transporting not only all of the animals in question but also sufficient food to meet these daily requirements for each pair of animals?
- Elephants: 440 to 880 pounds of vegetation per day
- Giraffes: up to 150 pounds per day
- Gorillas: up to 80 pounds per day
- Horses: approximately 40-70 pounds per day
- Cows: 80 pounds per day
- Pigs: 16 pounds per day
And then add all those other pesky animals. There are more than 59,000 species of vertebrates. A pair of each yields 118,000 animals to be accommodated on Noah’s Ark. Stick with only mammals and you still have more than 8,800 critters to house and feed on Noah’s Ark.
With Noah, his family and a pair of animals from each species on the Ark for a little more than a year, that’s an awful lot of food, without even taking into consideration the animals’ other needs.
While there are some things believers in the Bible are supposed to take on faith, it’s hard to imagine God would have sent Noah to sea on a perilously overcrowded and understocked vessel. Particularly since Genesis says God gave Noah precise instructions about the Ark’s dimensions.