Sunday, September 11, 2011

How Big Was Noah's Ark?

Because I need some time to process the information I have gathered on the historical argument, I will be taking a short break from such topics as the resurrection, the historical Jesus, and the gospel accounts. In the mean time, I will be doing a series on Noah's ark!

If Noah's ark was not big enough to fit as many animals as the Bible claims it did, we could have an external discrepancy on our hands. The first step in making this determination is finding out just how big Noah's ark is.

According to Genesis 6:15-17 (ESV)
"This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits,[a] its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16Make a roof[b] for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die."

  • A cubit is about 18 inches, or 45 centimeters.
And now for some math which is much easier than probability calculus:

Length: 300 cubits x 45 centimeters = 13500 centimeters

13500 centimeters x (1 meter/100 centimeters) = 135 meters long

Breadth: 50 cubits x 45 centimeters = 2250 centimeters

2250 centimeters x (1 meter/100 centimeters) = 22.5 meters wide

Height: 30 cubits x 45 centimeters = 1350 centimeters

1350 centimeters x (1 meter/100 centimeters) = 13.5 meters high

Now what we really want is total volume, so:

135 meters x 22.5 meters x 13.5 meters = 41006.25 cubic meters = Approximate Volume of Noah's Ark*

*It is possible that the corners were curved, as opposed to being a box with flat edges. The would cause a slight variation in the actual volume.

Interestingly enough, someone built a full sized replica of the ark. Here are a few photos of Johan Huibers' full size ark taken from

In the following series of posts, we will examine topics such as:
  • What does Genesis claim about the number of animals God told Noah to take on the ark?
  • Does Genesis claim that the flood was worldwide, or localized to a specific area?
  • Could Noah have gathered all of these animals?
  • Could the number of animals claimed in Genesis fit on the ark?
  • Is there evidence for or against a worldwide flood?


  1. Most people believe Noah's ark rested on Mount Arrarat, but I want to know where Noah actually built the ark.

    Any ideas???

  2. Hi!
    That would be extremely difficult to determine! We have never actually found the ark. If we did it would be a good starting place. Assuming that it did rest on Mount Ararat, we would then have to figure out how far the ark could have traveled during it's year adrift.

    In one year floating about... I have no idea how far it could have gone.

    Sorry I couldn't be more helpful! It may be impossible to know, because if the flood actually happened, it probably would have washed away/buried any archaeological evidence pertaining to the building of the ark.

    Kinda like trying to figure out what someone wrote on a whiteboard after it was erased.

    For fun, I'll guess it was built (if it was indeed built) in either Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Iran.