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     In September of 2015, this website launched the Noah's Ark Possibility Project (NAPP) with the stated purpose to investigate whether an ark as specified in Genesis 6:14-16 could possibly have had sufficient carrying capacity to save two of every kind of bird and land animal, both male and female. Beyond the physics of the ark and animals, there are many aspects relating to this subject that cannot be answered by scientific investigation as they relate to the supernatural actions of God. From all biblical accounts, God is all powerful, all knowing, and not just a casual observer but active in the world He created. The ark and the world wide flood depend on such a God. 

     Four of the more common objections to the Noah’s ark account are (1) the ark could not possibly carry all the animals, (2) Noah could not have possibly gathered all the animals from around the world, (3) some of the animals (e.g. lions, tigers) would kill others while on the ark, and (4) there is insufficient water on earth for a worldwide flood covering the highest mountains. This project as stated will address objection 1. Objection 2 is answered in Genesis 6:20 as God says that the animals will come to Noah to keep them alive. Objection 3 is like the latter objection in that God who can cause the animals to come to the ark can also keep them safe on the ark. Objection 4 attempts to set limits on what God can do. How you view the biblical flood account really depends on your view of God. 

     This article will be updated from time to time as this project progresses. Progress so far on this website is as follows: 

                                                                           The Animals 

     “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive.” [1]

     “Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.” [2]

     In accordance with these texts, the ark was to be loaded with two of every kind of bird, male and female, and land animal, male and female. In addition to the two of every kind, six male and female couples of all clean animals were to be loaded making a total of seven couples for each kind of clean animal.  List A is a partial list of animals designated as clean and unclean.
 
 
 
                                                                                                          
     Table A is being generated based on incomplete information. Sources of error include (1) the fact that all kinds of land animals and birds may not have been identified, (2) some kinds categorized as species may not actually be distinct kinds resulting in double counting of certain kinds, (3) snakes in Table 2 and the amphibians of Table 4 may not have been on the ark as they can swim, (5) the extant invertebrates could possibly have survived on floating debris and did not require the ark, (6) the weights for the animals in the Table A - Column c Sources listed at the bottom of this page are estimates, (7) some or all the animals may not have been fully grown, and (8) some animal kinds may have been extinct before the flood.  In spite of these and other uncertainties, many questionable items have been included to help validate the results.  The reason for the shift from species to genera for extinct prehistoric animals is discussed in the preamble to Table 8.  Animals living exclusively in a marine environment have been excluded.
 
                                                                     The Ark

Specifications: [3] 
 
          Size: 450 ft long, 75 ft breath, 45 ft height [4] 
          Material: gopher wood
          Details: rooms, window, finished except upper 1.5 ft, door on side, three decks
          Coating: ark covered inside and out with pitch or tar

Additional information:

          Door on side: God closed it after all aboard [5] 
          Window: opens and closes [6]
          Covering: ark had covering [7]

Ark’s Buoyancy: 

     Although the dimensions of the ark are given, the shape of the ark is uncertain. As navigability is not required, buoyancy, stability, strength, keeping unwanted water out, and ease of construction are the main design considerations for the ark’s exterior. The simplest shape to meet these requirements is to make the ark nearly rectangular in plan and profile. 

     According to Archimedes’ Principle, the buoyant force is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by an object. As the draft for the ark has not been specified, it will be necessary to assume one. Since the height of the ark is specified as 45 feet, let’s assume a draft of 30 feet to begin. Water weighs about 62.4 pcf. 

     Based on the above assumptions:

          The buoyant force on the ark = 30 ft x 450 ft x 75 ft. x 62.4 pcf = 63,180,000 lb

Ark’s Dead Weight: 

     The type of wood is uncertain as there is no description of gopher wood brought forward to modern times. It may be assumed that gopher wood was relatively easy to work with and therefore is some sort of softwood with a density of 30 pcf. No increase in weight for material being water logged is necessary because of the protective tar or varnish coating specified. Size and placement of the ark’s components are not known but a reasonable assumption is that they take up no more than five (5) percent of the ark’s volume. 

     Based on the above assumptions:

          The approximate dead weight of the ark = 450 ft x 75 ft x 45 ft x 30 pcf x 5%
                                                                                = 2,278,125 lb
                                                                            Say 2,300,000 lb

Ark’s Carrying Weight Capacity:

          Ark’s carrying weight capacity = ark’s buoyancy – ark’s dead weight
                                                               = 63,180,000 lb – 2,300,000 lb = 60,880,000 lb

Ark’s Cargo Weight Capacity:

          Cargo weight capacity = ark’s buoyancy - ark’s dead weight – ark’s store’s weight 

     Besides the cargo weight capacity there are other factors such as volume, horizontal space, and sufficient air circulation for the animals that must be considered.


Ark’s Store’s Weight:

                         “And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and 
                     gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” [8] 

     The above is the only reference of food for the ark. It states that all kinds of food are to be loaded onto the ark but is silent as to the amount. There are at least three possibilities here as follows:

    1. The amount of food to last for the year plus on the ark is specified to Noah but not recorded.
    2. The amount of food to last for a short period of time is specified to be loaded onto the ark as God will cause most or all of the animals to hibernate.
    3. The food is to be multiplied in similar fashion as performed by God for the widow of Zarephath, [9] Elisha and the multiplication of the oil, [10] or in Jesus feeding of the 4,000[11] and 5,000. [12] 

     Although possibility 1 can be estimated based on the weight of the animals and food requirements for various animals, the fact that possibilities 2 and 3 exist makes that calculation unnecessary. After all, there is no reason to assume that the animals were sustained for the year plus on the ark by natural means. 

     Neither is the amount of water to drink specified. The possibilities here are similar to those regarding food. Also, perhaps the water just outside the ark was suitable for drinking.
 
Ark's Deck Space for Animals: 
 
     The storage requirements for food is assumed to be a minimal of 5 percent for these calculations.
 
 Available deck space = ark length x ark width x no. of decks x adjustment for walls x
                                            adjustment for halls and ramps x adjustment for storage for food
                                         = 450 ft x 75 ft x 3 decks x 95% x 95% x 95%
                                         = 86,809 sf  
                                     say 86,800 sf
 
Ark Deck Space per Animal:
 
     From Table A, counting only the number of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians yields 173,064 vertebrate animals.
 
     If all these animals are on the decks, then
 
Available deck space per vertebrate animal = available deck space / no. of vertebrate animals
                                                                            = 86,800 sf / 173,064
                                                                            = 0.50 sf / animal
 
     This average area per vertebrate animal is obviously way too small as it can only accommodate the smallest vertebrate animals with nothing  left over to add to the larger vertebrate animals space needs. What average area is necessary is uncertain but it must be much larger than this.  To generate a much larger average area per animal requires one or more of the following solutions:
 
    1. All kinds are not on the deck floors but may be on perches for birds, raised platforms for the smaller  vertebrates  (e.g. lizards, frogs, salamanders, etc.), and walls for invertebrates (e.g. insects, spiders,  etc.).
    2. Dinosaurs may have been extinct at the time Noah built the ark and may therefore be excluded from the calculations.
    3. Reduce the animal count by shifting exclusively to genera. This approach recognizes that species are not in stasis and that genera may be closer to the undefined kind of the Bible. Microevolution occurs all the time within a kind so not bringing all variations within a kind on the ark does not make a kind extinct.
    4. Place some of the medium sized animals (e.g. dogs, sheep, etc.) on raised platforms as well.  
 
     Possible solutions 1 and 2 have been incorporated in Table B below.  Possible solutions 1, 2 and 3 have been incorporated in Table C below.  
 

 
.________________________ 


[1] Genesis 6:19-20 NASB 
[2] Genesis 7:2-3 NIV
[3] Genesis 6:14-16
[4] All dimensions in text are in cubits that scholars say equal 18 inches.
[5] Genesis 7:16
[6] Genesis 8:6
[7] Genesis 8:13
[8] Genesis 6:21 NASB
[9] I Kings 17:9-16
[10] II Kings 4:1-7
[11] Matthew 15:32-39
[12] Matthew 14:15-21
Row No.Table A - Column b Sources

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammal_ genera, (Total 5937 species)
Table 1, Page 114, (5937-130) = 5807 species
2 Table 2, Page 118
3 Table 3, Page 123
4 https://amphibiaweb.org/amphibian/speciesnums.html
5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insect
6 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider
7 https://www.britannica.com/animal/land-snail (approximately 35,000 species)
https://www.researchgate.net/post/How_many_slugs_species_in_the_worlds_
fauna (about 5,000 species)
8 https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728524/
9 Table 6, Page 126
10 Not applicable
11 Table 7, Page 130
12 Not applicable
13 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthoptera
14 Table 8, page 143
15 Table 9, page 151
16 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ dinosaur_genera
17 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ Late_Quaternary_prehistoric_
bird_species
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ fossil_bird_genera
18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ prehistoric_amphibian_genera
19 Not applicable
20 Not applicable
21 Not applicable
22 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulmonoscorpius
23 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_mammals
24 Table 14, Page 194, includes possibly extinct
25 Table F, All Clean Birds
26 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_amphibians
27 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_invertebrates
28 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_invertebrates
29 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_invertebrates
30 Not applicable
31 Table 18, Page 147
32 Not applicable
33 Table F, All Clean Birds
34 Not applicable
35 Not applicable
Row No.Table A - Column c Sources

1 Table 1
2 Table 2
3 Table 3
4 Table 4
5 Table 5a
6 Rough estimate using the average insect weight although
a cursory examination indicates that the average insect is larger
than the average spider.
7 Rough estimate using a typical garden slug 300 mg (0.0066 lb)
https:/www.slugbell.com/slug-facts-11-c.asp and some Helix
snails about 25g (0.055 lb)
https://ww.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Snail
8 Rough estimate is based on the largest scorpion the Emperior
(length 7.9 in., weight 0.066 lb.) and an average scorpion
 (length 2 to 3 in)
9 Table 6
10 Not applicable
11 Table 7
12 Not applicable
13 Rough estimate is based on the average weight of grasshoppers
and crickets in Table 5a, less the Giant Weta
14 Table 8
15 Table 9a
16 Table 9b
17 Table 10
18 Table 11
19 Using same estimate as Row 5
20 Using the same rough unit weight estimate as Row 6
21 Using the same rough unit weight estimate as Row 7
22 Using the same rough unit weight estimate as Row 8
23 Table 13
24 Table 14
25 Table 15
26 Table 16
27 Using same estimate as Row 5
28 Using the same rough unit weight estimate as Row 6
29 Using the same rough unit weight estimate as Row 7
30 Using the same rough unit weight estimate as Row 8
31 Table 18
32 Not applicable
33 Using the same rough unit weight estimate as Row 11
34 Not applicable
35 Not applicable
Row No.Table B - Column b Sources

Column same as Table A, except Row 24

24 Table 14, Page 194, except possibly extinct eliminated


















Row No.Table C - Column b Sources

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammal_genera
Total less total of Table I (1258-65 = 1,193 genera)
2 https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genus
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List__of_bird_genera
4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: Amphibian_genera
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: Monotypic _amphibian_ genera
5 Unnecessary number
6 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider
7 Unnecessary number
8 https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728524/
9 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammal_genera
Ruminantia less Giraffidae
10 Not applicable
11 Table G
12 Not applicable
13 Unnecessary number
14 Table A, Column b
15 Ibid.
16 Ibid.
17 Ibid.
18 Ibid.
19 Ibid.
20 Ibid.
21 Ibid.
22 Ibid.
23 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_mammal 6/8/19, compared all on list against their Wikipedia articles to determine extinct genera, Sirenians and Cetaceans excluded.
24 Table 14, excluding possibly extinct animals and checked the remaining with their Wikipedia articles for extinct genera.
25 Table H, Birds All Total
26 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_amphibians 9/13/19, compared all on list against their Wikipedia articles to determine extinct genera, possibly extinct species excluded.
27 Unnecessary number
28 Unnecessary number
29 Unnecessary number
30 Unnecessary number
31 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recently_extinct_mammal 6/8/19, compared the Ruminantia against their Wikipedia articles for extinct genera
32 Not applicable
33 Table H, Clean Birds All Total
34 Not applicable
35 Unnecessary number
19 Assumed
20 Assumed
21 Assumed
22 Assumed
23 Table F
24 Ibid.
25 Ibid.
26 Assumed
27 Assumed
28 Assumed
29 Assumed
30 Assumed
31 Assumed
32 Not applicable
33 Table F
34 Not applicable
35 Assumed
Row No.Table B - Column c Sources
 
1 Table D
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Assumed
6 Assumed
7 Assumed
8 Assumed
9 Assumed
10 Not applicable
11 Assumed
12 Not applicable
13 Assumed
14 Table E
15 Ibid.
16 Assumed
17 Table E
18 Ibid.
Row No.Table C - Column c Sources
 
1 Table G
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Assumed
6 Assumed
7 Assumed
8 Assumed
9 Assumed
10 Not applicable
11 Assumed
12 Not applicable
13 Assumed
14 Table E
15 Ibid.
16 Assumed
17 Table E
18 Ibid.
19 Assumed
20 Assumed
21 Assumed
22 Assumed
23 Table H
24 Ibid.
25 Ibid.
26 Assumed
27 Assumed
28 Assumed
29 Assumed
30 Assumed
31 Table H
32 Not applicable
33 Table H
34 Not applicable
35 Assumed
Contents:                                          

1. The Animals                                   
2. The Ark
    2.1 Specificiations
    2.2 Additional Information
    2.3 Buoyancy
    2.4 Dead Weight
    2.5 Carrying Weight Capacity
    2.6 Cargo Weight Capacity
    2.7 Store's Weight
    2.8 Deck Space for Animals
    2.9 Deck Space per Animal
3. Conclusions
   
Tables:
 
1 - Extant Mammal Weights
2 - Extant Reptile Weights
3 - Extant Bird Weights
4 - Extant Amphibian Weights
5a - Extant Insect Weights
6 - Extant Clean Mammal Weights
7 - Extant Clean Bird Weights
8 - Extinct Prehistoric Mammal Weights
9a - Extinct Prehistoric Reptile Weights Except Dinosaurs
9b - Extinct Dinosaur Weights
10 - Extinct Prehistoric Bird Weights
11 - Extinct Prehistoric Amphibian Weights
13 - Extinct Historic Mammal Weights
14 - Extinct Historic Reptile Weights
15 - Extinct Historic Bird Weights
16 - Extinct Historic Amphibian Weights
18 - Extinct Historic Clean Mammal Weights
A - Total Adult Animal Weight Estimates
B - Area per Animal Estimate on Ark's Three Decks Considering Species or Genera as Indicated
C - Area per Animal Estimate on Ark's Three Decks Considering Genera Only
D - Extrant Species Not on Deck
E - Extinct Prehistoric Genera No on Deck
F - Extinct Historic Species Not on Deck
G - Extant Genera Not on Deck
H - Extinct Historic Genera Not on Deck
I - Extant Mammal Genera Not on Ark
 
 
     Tables B and C demonstrate the increased deck space available on the ark if not all the animals were on the decks.  Excluding dinosaurs from the ark also significantly increases the available space because of the lesser number of animals and the fact that many of the dinosaurs were very large requiring a lot of space.  Switching to genera only in Table C also increased the available deck space.
 
 
Conclusions
 
     Noah's ark considering the buoyancy and space requirements was from an engineering standpoint very possible.  It also appears that God's intervention was critical in its success.  God chose Noah to build the ark and gave him the plan to do so.  God provided Noah with sufficient lead time (100 years) to construct the ark.  God told Noah to bring some of all kinds of food on the ark. God told Noah when to get on the ark to avoid the flood. The animals were miraculously brought to the ark by God. God closed the ark's door after Noah, his family and the animals were aboard.
 
     What took place on the ark is a mystery as the Bible is silent on this point.  It is possible that God caused all the animals to hibernate.   Also, it is possible that God multiplied the food that was brought onto the ark.
 
     Miracles are seemly impossible events that violate the known laws of nature.   This does not mean that miracles do not occur all the time.  The God of the Bible is involved His creation and is not restricted by the natural laws He created.