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 Animals
 
a
Source
 
b
Unit
Weight (lb./)
c
No. of
 
d
Males & Females
Factor
e
Total
Weight (lb.)
c x d x e
Extant (Living)
 
 
 Species
 
 
Mammals
30 
5157 
309,420
Reptiles
9615 
57,690
Birds
1.33
8887 
23,639
Amphibians
0.11
6771 
1,490
Invertebrates
Table 5
 
 
 
Additional Clean Animals
 
 
Species
 
     Mammals
213
320 
12 
817,920
     Reptiles
N/A
N/A 
None 
N/A 
0
     Birds
0.80
7631 
12 
73,258
     Amphibians
N/A 
N/A 
None 
N/A 
0
     Invertebrates
N/A 
Negligible 
Negligible
12 
0
Extinct Prehistoric
 
 
 Genera
 
 
Mammals
580
2682
2
3,111,120
Reptiles, except Dinosaurs
170
384
2
130,560
Reptiles - Dinosaurs
7350
1000
2
   14,700,000
Birds
110
125
2
27,500
Amphibians
109
420
2
91,560
Invertebrates
Table 12
 
 
2
 
Extinct Historic
 
 
Species
 
 
Mammals
95
73
2
13,870
Reptiles
40
36
2
  1,440
Birds
8.40
196
2
3,293
Amphibians
0.10
32
2
6
Invertebrates
Table 17
 
2
 
Additional Clean Animals
 
 
 
     Mammals
500
6
12
        36,000
     Reptiles
 N/A
N/A
None
N/A
0
     Birds
Table 19
 
 
12
 
     Amphibians
N/A 
N/A
None
N/A
 0
     Invertebrates
N/A
 Negligible  Negligible
 12
 0

    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 for clean animals. List A is a partial list of animals designated as clean and unclean.
 
Table A - Total Adult Animal Weight Estimates
(Progress to Date)
 
                                                                                                                        
                                                                                         Total Weight of Animals on the Ark (lb.)       19,398,766 so far
                                                                                                  Ark's Carrying Weight Capacity (lb.)      60,880,000  

 
  
  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 invertebrates of Table 5 could possibly have survived on floating debris and did not require the ark, (6) the weights for the animals in Tables 1 to 19 are estimates, 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, floor 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.


________________________
[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