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Was Noah’s Ark big enough?

May 2014 | by Andrew Rowell

One of the annoying aspects of so many accounts of Noah and the great flood is the ridiculous pictures that are used to represent the ark.

One aspect of the current film that is more biblical is the fact that the ark is very big.

A recent investigation by four physics students at Leicester University investigated whether the dimensions of the ark given in the Genesis account would produce a container with sufficient buoyancy to float when all the animals were loaded.

They calculated the average size of the cubit using a number of estimates and used Archimedes principle to calculate the feasibility of the structure.

They conclude that the maximum weight of the animals that the ark could hold before it sank would be 50,540,000kg. If there were 70,000 animals the average weight of each would need to be less than 722kg. The weight of a sheep (which is suggested might be the average weight of all the animals) is only 25kg.

One of the students, Thomas Morris, said: ‘You don’t think of the Bible necessarily as a scientifically accurate source of information, so I guess we were quite surprised when we discovered it would work. We’re not proving that it’s true, but the concept would definitely work.’

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