Is this Noah's Ark?
A boat-shaped rock in Turkey has been claimed to be Noah's Ark
SOME PEOPLE CLAIM THAT THIS PHOTO of a boat-shaped formation near Mount Ararat in Turkey shows Noah's Ark.
If you know the Bible account, you know that Noah's Ark was the huge boat that protected Noah and his family during the year-long flood that covered the whole earth. It landed on the mountains of Ararat, which lie in extreme eastern Turkey.
Like the Bigfoot photo in this series of DinosaurCam, this photo is obviously not a dinosaur, and neither is it a fake. But because of the spectacular claim that it may be Noah's Ark, you need to know why it is not.
- The real Ark landed on “the mountains of Ararat.” Mount Ararat consists of two mountains, or peaks, called Greater Ararat and Lesser Ararat. This boat-shaped formation is on neither of those mountains.
- The shape of this formation is like a modern fossilized boat, but it does not fit the dimensions of Noah's Ark given in the Bible (length six times its width). The Bible says the width was 50 cubits (75 feet or 22.5 meters). That means it was probably rectangular, not pointed at the ends, but you can see the formation pictured is only a few meters wide at the ends, not 50 cubits. This formation's width is all wrong.
- Bible-believing geologists have thoroughly examined this object and found it is made of different types of rock. If it were the Ark it would contain fossilized wood, but it doesn't. Some people thought they found fossilized wood in it in the 1980s, but it turned out to be basalt (a volcanic rock).
- The streamlined, pointed shape of the rock formation is unlike what Bible scholars and creationist scientists have traditionally believed the Ark was like. They believe the real Ark had squared-off ends. It only had to float, and squared-off ends are the most stable shape. The Ark was not going anywhere, because it was merely a vessel for keeping alive the representative animals that God sent to Noah for preservation. So pointed ends would not be practical.
- Other rock formations in the area are the same shape as the formation above, but they are of different sizes. The Turkish Air Force released the photo at right that shows three similar “ark” shapes on Lesser Mount Ararat. Supporters of the formation pictured at the top of this page chose it only because its length roughly matches the real Ark's length. They ignore the wrong width, and they ignore the smaller, similar geological formations. All these formations seem to have formed when volcanic material flowed down the mountain.
Creation magazine published an exhaustive report by respected Australian geologist Dr. Andrew A. Snelling in its issue of September-November 1992. The 13-page report looked at the claims of the late Ron Wyatt, who was the prime lobbyist for this site's being the Ark. Dr. Snelling worked with other creationist geologists who had examined the site, and the overwhelming scientific opinion was that this rock formation is not the Ark.
Photo credits: Color photo courtesy John Baumgardner. Black and white photo courtesy Turkish Air Force.
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