Noah's Ark: Truth and Fiction

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Noah's Ark: Truth and Fiction
Noah's Ark: Truth and Fiction

For believers, Noah is “a righteous and blameless man in his kind,” the one who, according to the Bible, “walks before God,” who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord,” and who died nine hundred and fifty years old. For science, Noah is just an object of study. And if this "object" lived, it was, perhaps, not a gray-haired bearded old man crowned with gray hair, but a shaven-headed merchant far from holiness with painted eyebrows and … in a skirt.

Noah's ark

Sensational itching

This disease can affect anyone. Even a doctor. After all, nothing foreshadowed trouble when, in the middle of the last century, an unremarkable and unknown American anesthesiologist Ron Wyatt was suddenly "infected" with it. It is he who owns the most popular hypothesis about the existence of Noah's ark. She was born after Ron got the issue of Life magazine from 1957 with published photographs of the vicinity of the Tendurek stratovolcano in the Ararat mountains (recall that it was in the Ararat mountains, according to the Bible, that Noah moored with his ark). It was in this area that the captain of the Turkish army Ilham Durupinar took his famous photographs from an airplane, which depict incomprehensible formations resembling the remains of an ark.

The muse of distant wanderings, as you know, beckons a person. She snatched Father Fyodor out of the quiet district abode, and forced the anesthesiologist Ron Wyatt to look for the ark in the mountains of Ararat. And the indefatigable Ron found him. Rather, only the place photographed by the Turkish pilot. The boat-like trail was surrounded by a kind of clay walls, which Wyatt declared to be the woody remains of the ark. After him the same was repeated by all the hunters for the ark, immediately joining the ranks of the faithful "Wyattists."


However, geologists have their own opinion on this matter.

“As a geologist, I don’t understand their conviction that this is a tree,” says Geology Professor Larry Collins. - The chaotic pattern of the presented samples of this "wood" has nothing to do with the structure of the petrified wood. In addition, petrified wood is very hard, as the wood cells are replaced over time by silicate molecules, commonly known as quartz. Quartz, like diamond, is incredibly hard. The sample given to me does not possess this quality.

One of the creationists, an expert on underwater finds, David Fesseld, who, at Wyatt's insistence, provided the sample to geologist Larry Collins, after the latter's conclusion, even stopped writing his book about the ark, admitting that Wyatt's conclusions were erroneous. What can not be said about Ron Wyatt himself, who was fanatically "confident" until the end of his days. As well as the rest of the hunters for a miracle.

- Looking at this photo, I, first of all, thought that this is a small ledge in the stone, since there is another similar ledge visible there, - admits Farouk El-Baz, a geologist from Boston University. - The stones slid down, forming a moat, and this is clearly visible in the picture. I doubt that this is human handiwork.


The length of the sought-after object in the area of ​​the Tendurek volcano is 157 meters. The length of Noah's ark, according to the Bible, is 300 cubits (137 meters). A follower of Wyatt, a certain Jerry Bowen, finds an explanation for this difference. Moses, who wrote Genesis, studied in Egypt, and he obviously had in mind a measure of length called the royal Egyptian cubit. Thus, the difference in the end is not twenty meters, but only a few centimeters.

However, the size of the "elbows" varies greatly.And if you really want to - everything is possible. See a human face on Mars, declare the Nazca desert an airfield for flying saucers and see petroglyphs in the form of spacesuits in the walls of the Egyptian pyramids.

- Why are we surprised that the expectations to see the ship on Mount Ararat were crowned with success? - says Russian researcher Vadim Chernobrov. “Moreover, as many as three of his images were found in different places.

In spite of everything, these too are just general phrases. Let's figure it out in detail.


About half a century ago, in one of the glacial crevices on Ararat, at an altitude of 4 km, French archaeologists found another wooden artifact. They were later dated to 800 BC. - at times ancient, but much later than the supposed voyage of Noah. Perhaps the tree was raised to a height for construction, which was never completed.

Noah destroyer

“And you shall make it thus: the length of the ark is three hundred cubits; its width is fifty cubits, and its height is thirty cubits."

Neither less nor less (the elbow is about 50 cm), these are the dimensions of a modern destroyer or mega yacht of an Arab sheikh. With a length of 140 meters, it would be the largest ship in the entire ancient world. Backbreaking work for one family.

“Even in the 19th century, they could not have built such a ship out of wood alone,” says shipbuilding expert Tom Vosmer. - Metal parts would be needed. At sea, such a ship will crack the skin and leak. It would have drowned as quickly as an ordinary stone.

Perhaps Noah built the ark, only its dimensions were much more modest.


Each creature - a pair

“Bring also into the ark, of all animals and of all flesh, in pairs, so that they may remain alive with you; male and female, let them be. Of birds after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, and of all that creep on the earth after their kind, of all of them, a couple of them will come in to you to stay alive."

It is believed that our planet is inhabited by 30 million species of animals. Perhaps, after these words, comments seem superfluous. Had Noah had a whole fleet of "destroyers", it would have been worse than Landau's problems if Noah had a whole fleet of "destroyers" - "a couple" of each species (a total of 60 million individuals). The same applies to the loading of "critters". According to Scripture, Noah and his family were able to accomplish this in a week. According to experts, at real speed, this would take at least thirty years.

Perhaps the Bible does not mean all animals, but only those who lived in the area where Noah lived? The Book of Genesis describes specific species: seven pairs from ten species of "clean" animals (those that could be sacrificed to God): sheep, antelopes, cattle, goats, deer. There are also described "unclean" animals: pigs, hares, lizards, snails, etc. A total of 30 species. In total, 260 individuals were supposed to be on board the ark. This is very small compared to 30 million (count 60 million), but much more realistic.

Another sensation associated with Noah's Ark appeared already in 2000, when satellite photographs of the slopes of Ararat were studied. In the saddle between its two peaks, under the snow, someone again made out the outline of the ship. Alas, scientists again considered this to be just a normal fold of a sliding glacier. In the end, experts are absolutely sure: the ark could not remain frozen in the ice for so long under no circumstances. After all, the glacier moves and blows everything in its path to the foot of the mountains. According to scientists, if the fragments of the ark were trapped in the glacier, they would be found not at the top, but at the base of Ararat.

From the flood - not a trace

“In the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on this day all the springs of the great abyss were opened, and the windows of heaven were opened; and it rained on the earth for forty days and forty nights … And the water on the earth increased enormously, so that all the high mountains that are under the whole sky were covered … The water on the earth became stronger for a hundred and fifty days."

The whole legend of Noah is meaningless without the fact of the flood. The flood described in the Bible would invariably leave a very clear, worldwide visible, geological footprint.His search began a century and a half ago. Geologist Lan Plimer searched for him on all continents, but in vain. However, not quite. He, like many others, managed, rather, to prove that nothing like this had ever happened.

But that's not all. The very idea of ​​a flood negates everything that science knows about the history of the Earth. To flood the planet to the summits of the Himalayas, you need a volume of water three times more than all the oceans have. Where did it come from, then? “… All the sources of the great abyss were opened,” Scripture prompts.

“It cannot be that water in such a volume came from geysers and underground sources,” says Lan Plimer. - If this happened, then it would no longer be water, but swamp mud, on which it is impossible to swim. In addition, the flooding of the entire surface of the planet would lead to changes in the Earth's atmosphere. So much steam would enter the atmosphere that the person would choke on the breath, and the pressure would increase so much that the lungs would burst. And the geyser emissions also contain sulfur dioxide, so people would suffocate even before the flood began.

In 1949, the CIA carried out aerial photography of Ararat. For many years these photographs were classified, access to them was opened only in 1995. In the photographs you can see a certain dark mass, the length of which is 140 m, almost the exact size of the ark. However, geologists also declared these photographs unconvincing, citing extremely low image quality. The "dark mass" in the pictures can be either melted snow or a simple play of light and shadow.

Noah, Gilgamesh and Atrahasis

At one time, philologists also got involved in the investigation of the ark. Having studied the language of the legend of Noah, they came to the conclusion that it was written in the 6th century BC. It was inserted into the Torah by Jewish priests who lived in Babylon (modern Iraq - ed.). It is likely that they were the ones who wrote the beautiful parable. But scientists are well aware - any of such legends always contains a certain grain of truth. Perhaps the story of Noah's ark is just an exaggerated retelling of real events.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the Englishman Henry Layerd studied the ruins of the Babylonian library at Nineveh. Finding hundreds of cuneiform tablets, he sent them to the British Museum, where appropriate specialists could work with them. However, the museum workers did not attach importance to the next batch of clay books and sent them to the storerooms. They were kept there until 1872, when museum employee George Smith found them and deciphered them. His conclusion turned out to be truly sensational. He found similarities between the famous Epic of Gilgamesh and the biblical legend of our Noah.


Then it went like clockwork. A lot of archaeological and geological expeditions were organized on the territory of Iraq. All of them confirmed that there really was a serious flood in this region. It happened at least five thousand years ago on the territory of Mesopotamia. But it was there that the civilizations of Sumer, Assyria and Babylon were born. We owe them the Epic of Gilgamesh, as well as the predecessor of this legend - the epic of the Sumerian hero Atrahasis. All these people, like Noah, with enviable consistency listen to the voice of the gods, build a raft and save themselves on it. In addition, both epics tell of a real flood in the territory of Mesopotamia, which, as we said, happened five thousand years ago.

Therefore, scientists assume that the legend of Noah is only a Christian version of a pagan epic, written shortly after the above flood. The latter eroded many cities in Mesopotamia, but, of course, not the whole world.

Meanwhile, the scientist Alan Milord is sure that the Bible does not say anything about the Flood:

- In Hebrew, the words "land" and "country" were spelled the same. It can be assumed that a local flood is described there.

Probably the puzzle has come together.

Was there Noah?

Scientists answer: "It may very well be."Only if we take into account the above logical chain, we will have to cross out the familiar image of the biblical Noah, who historically was probably a completely different person.

He was a Sumerian. And that means he was shaved bald, dyed his eyebrows and wore a skirt. So it was accepted in the culture of the Sumerians. How did this man live? The Epic of Gilgamesh says that he had both gold and silver. It turns out that Noah was not a simple winemaker at all, he was a merchant. Instead of an ark, he most likely had a large barge, perfect for transporting livestock, grain, beer and other goods. Shopping centers in those parts lay along the banks, so it was easier and cheaper to transport goods by water.

How big was Noah's barge? Scientists have not yet found an accurate description of the Sumerian merchant barges, so they simply estimate the maximum possible size of such a vessel at that time.

“The Epic of Gilgamesh says that the boat was divided into sections,” comments the expert on ancient ships Tom Vosmer. - Large ships could be built like pontoons. Several barges, for example, were tied together with ropes, and at the top was the ship's owner's house.

Perhaps Noah lived on this ship with his family, could load animals on it for sale. When this ship was "moored", and Noah and his family were just on it (according to various versions, it was a moment of some kind of celebration), a hurricane wind broke the rope and carried the barge along the waters of the Euphrates River.


Scientists know that melting snow in the mountains of Armenia in July raises the water level in the Euphrates. At this time, the channels become passable for ships. Noah was waiting for such a flood to go down the river with his goods. If we assume that at this time there was a strong storm, then the Euphrates could turn into a raging sea, causing floods. However, in July, it rarely rains in these places, so such floods do not occur more often than about once every thousand years (it is not surprising that such events were necessarily recorded in the annals). In those days, the climate in these regions was hotter and more humid, and therefore hurricanes and rainstorms are stronger than now. If such a storm coincided with the melting of snow in the mountains, it could flood the entire Mesopotamian plain. Which is probably what happened.

But the Bible writes about 40 days and nights when it rained and "the windows of heaven were opened." The Babylonian epic is more modest: it tells only about seven days. But even this week would have been enough to "exterminate people from the face of the earth." It is possible that Noah's barge, torn off the coast by a hurricane, really drifted for quite a long time, but not along the fresh waves of the Euphrates, but along the sea. After all, the Babylonian text states: the water overboard has become salty. Scientists calculated the course of the barge over the flooded plain and came to the conclusion that it was apparently carried into the Persian Gulf. It is unknown how long the Noah family sailed in the bay. If you believe the Bible - a year, if the Sumerian epic - seven days. The version of the latter, of course, is much more likely. On board Noah's barge, most likely, there was beer, which has been brewed here since time immemorial. Noah's relatives and himself drank it instead of water. But the Sumerian Noah hardly wanted to return after the flood back to his native Sumerian city of Shurupak. According to Sumerian laws, anyone who owed money and could not repay the debt was invariably enslaved. As a merchant, Noah probably owed money, but having "burned out" in the flood, he could not make a profit, and he had nothing to repay the debt with. However, according to Babylonian sources, Noah was none other than the head of the city of Shurupak. But that didn't change anything either. Sumerian laws were equal for everyone.

The further life of Noah is shrouded in mystery. But one of the Babylonian tablets still says that Noah remained in the land of Dilmun (now the island of Bahrain - author's note), but in the mountains of Ararat, Noah's barge could not have ended up after the flood. There are many unexplored burial grounds on the island of Bahrain. Who knows, maybe one of them still keeps the remains of the legendary Noah?

Alternative opinion

It certainly is. And it consists in the fact that the Armenians who have inhabited the vicinity of Aratat since ancient times are none other than the descendants of Noah. The year of foundation of the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, is considered the year of foundation of the Urartian city of Erebuni - 782 BC. NS. However, Armenian legends say that the first settlements in these places appeared in the time of Noah. The main proof is the folk etymology of the word "Erevats!" (She appeared!), Which Noah allegedly uttered after the peak of Small Ararat appeared from under the water.


The 17th century traveler Jean Chardin writes: “Erivan, according to the Armenians, is the world's oldest settlement. Because they claim that Noah and all his family settled here before the Flood, and after that he came down from the Mountain on which the Ark remained."

Be that as it may, only Noah seems to know the truth, if he really existed. We are left to rely on facts and, probably, just believe.

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