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How could Noah's ark hold hundreds of thousands of species?
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Could the ark really contain all the animals of the world? Again the answer is "Yes." But let's look at the last question in more detail. The ark took about 120 years to build. Noah was 480 years old when he began the work and he had the help of his wife, three sons, and his son's wives. He probably hired local people to help in the construction.
The dimensions of the ark have a ratio of six to one. The Ark was six times longer than it was wide. This is the best ratio for modern ship building. Model stability tests have shown that the design is stable for waves up to 200 feet high and that the ark could have rotated 90 degrees and still righted itself.
The volume of the ark would be 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high. This equals 1,518,750 cubic feet and is comparable to 569 modern railroad boxcars. Therefore each boxcar, by comparison, would be 1,518,750 divided by 569, or 2,669 cubic feet of space. The average size of an animal on the earth is smaller than a cat. But, just to keep it safe let's consider the average size of an animal to be a sheep. The average double deck stock car holds 240 sheep. The Ark capacity would be about 569 x 240 equaling 136,560 animals of that size. However, that still is not accurate for our needs. Since most birds, reptiles, and amphibians are much smaller, let's double the boxcar capacity for them. Therefore, the boxcars could each hold 480 different kinds of birds, reptiles, amphibians.
Noah had to take two or seven of every kind of animal on the earth. Though it is not really known exactly what is meant by a biblical kind, it is generally considered to be animals that are fertile within their own groups. Any dog can breed with any dog, therefore, dogs are one kind. It would only be necessary to bring representatives of each kind since the parents could produce offspring that would carry the genetic information for all variations within their kind.
•Classification . . . . Number of Species . . . . Number of Kinds on the Ark
•Mammals . . . . . . . . .3,700 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,700 (a few live in water).
•Birds . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,600 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60,200 (seven pairs according to Gen. 7:3)
•Reptiles. . . . . . . . . . .6,300 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,300
•Amphibians. . . . . . . .2,500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,500
•Fishes. . . . . . . . . . . .20,600. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .zero
•Other marine life . . . 192,605. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .zero
•Insects . . . . . . . . . . . 850,000 . . . (Since insects are very small, and a great many could be stored in a small area, calculation would be difficult.)
•Total . . . . . . . . . . . .1,072,305 . . . . . . . . . . . . .72,700
The total number of mammals would be 3,700 times two pair which equals 7,400 animals. 7,400 divided by 240 = 31 boxcars used.
Since Gen. 7:3 says to take seven pairs of every bird then the total for birds would be 8,600 times two pair times 7 or 120,400 animals. 120,400 x 480 = 250 boxcars. The reptiles and amphibians would be 6,300 plus 2,500 or 8,800. 8,800 times two pair equals 17,600 animals. 17,600 divided by 480 = 37 boxcars.
The total number of boxcars used would be 318 with a total number of animals at 145,400. There would be 251 boxcars left over. That means that only 56% of the ark would be used for storing the animals. Obviously, then, the rest of the space would be used for food for the people and animals and sleeping quarters. In addition, considering that insects are extremely small, it is easily conceivable that they could be housed in part of the remaining space.
It should also be considered that many animals can hibernate. Additionally, predators and prey have been known to live peacefully together during situations of stress like fire, flood, or earthquake. In the Ark, animal behavior probably would have been different from normal daily life. Specialists in animal behavior have noted that animals can sense danger and have often migrated to escape it. Perhaps God used their migratory instincts to get them to the Ark.
Though this is only a brief analysis, it should present enough evidence that the Ark account is certainly within the realm of possibility.
- PhebyLv 77 years ago
There is only one way to prove the Noah Ark can house that number of animals. Just simply build an ark and put all the animals in for 40 days in the ocean and see what happen. Maybe this can prove the bible stories are truth.
- ?Lv 57 years ago
It is true that encyclopedias refer to over a million species of animals. But Noah was instructed to preserve only representatives of every “kind” of land animal and flying creature. Some investigators have said that just 43 “kinds” of mammals, 74 “kinds” of birds, and 10 “kinds” of reptiles could have produced the great variety of species of these creatures that are known today. The ark had about 40,000 cu m (1,400,000 cu ft) of usable space, ample for the passenger list.
Do you realize how large that vessel was?
If we calculate according to the conservative estimate of 17.5 inches per cubit, the ark measured 437 feet 6 inches by 72 feet 11 inches by 43 feet 9 inches.
As the ark was divided into three levels, it would have a total of more than 91,000 square feet of floor space and an overall capacity of 1.2 million cubic feet.
That is enough space for 445 standard railroad boxcars, or 10 trains of some 44 cars each.
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- Anonymous7 years ago
Lots of specially trained smart people have looked hard for evidence of a world wide flood. They found two. Neither of them was Noah's flood of 2349 BC. Nevertheless, people all over the world recorded a flood that year and they all agreed on all the details. You might be surprised to learn what actually happened. This is long, but it's all there: http://saturniancosmology.org/
If you don't care to read the whole book, here is the footnote. Scroll down to "Day of the dead": http://saturniancosmology.org/jup.php
- Anonymous7 years ago
It did not, my Dad is a preacher and said there was a large flood in modern day Iraq. That area WAS their world to them, could have housed basic animals for a couple days if there was an ark. So many metaphors and taking things into context. My Dad has BOOKS that help him understand the Bible, so complicated. Hope this helps.
- 7 years ago
Looking through the answers this is getting ridiculous. People trying to scientifically analyze the story will not work!
Every story in the bible is a metaphor with greater meaning. The metaphor is given fantasy and miracle to make it appeal to the public and spread it more readily (advertisement).
The story of Noah's Arc didn't literally have one man build a ship for every species on Earth. The story conceals a greater meaning which Christians should explore and study. The failure to do this leads to fundamentalism, one of the greatest banes of modern society.
I won't tell you what I think it means because that is not the point. Try and come to your own conclusion about the meaning of Noah's Arc, that's the point.
- ?Lv 77 years ago
its been explained different and in different ways. one possible way is to cary the "eggs" not the animals.
another way is to care the most common "kinds" of animals, not that all animals had to be saved. not that any of them had to be saved ! its the way the Lord chose to do it.
with one kind of species, or genre, God can create and mold other types of the same kind and make variations of dogs. mankind learned how to bread dogs and bring forth different types. so, i dont think it was the way to save "hundreds of thousand". maybe it was only (hundreds)
- Andy WLv 77 years ago
Here we go again!
Do you think there are more number of species today than then?
Whichever way you look at it, the answer is yes. So where's the problem?
- FitzLv 77 years ago
There are 800,000 species of insect alone.
In order to fit 2 of every animal (never mind 8 of some) ... you'd need a boat the size of Australia.