Everyone knows the biblical story: God sent down 40 days of rain, wiping out all living creatures on Earth, as vengeful retribution for humanity's immorality. Only one vessel would survive. Noah, its captain and builder, rounded up two of every animal on Earth to save a scrap of life from the Great Flood. After the catastrophe, Noah and his family landed on a mountain and began to repopulate the Earth.
But is there evidence of Noah's Ark? A number of recent expeditions claim they found physical evidence of the ark in the mountains of Turkey and Iran. Even doubters have to admit that the evidence of the Great Flood is convincing. But just like the recently discovered proof of the crucifixion, some questions still persist. So, was Noah's Ark found? Was Noah's Ark even real? The only way to answer these queries is an in-depth examination of the physical evidence.
Also important to remember is that the book of Genesis, which tells the story of Noah, was written thousands of years ago, and just like the Bible changes over time, a critical examination of the evidence surrounding Noah and his ark is crucial. After all, Jesus wasn't always white. People have been searching for Noah's Ark for thousands of year – will it be found in our lifetime?
The Ark Is Sitting On Top Of Mount Ararat, According To Genesis
According to scholarly texts dating back centuries, Noah's Ark can be found on the peak of Mount Ararat. Over 700 years ago, Marco Polo claimed that the ark sits on top of the "Mountain of Noah's Ark," an enormous Armenian mountain covered in snow – just like Mount Ararat. As recently as 2010, a group claims that they found pieces of Noah's Ark exactly where the Bible said it would be found.
Turkish and Chinese explorers climbed Mount Ararat and found something beneath the snow. Yeung Wing-cheung, a filmmaker who went on the expedition, said, "It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's Ark, but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it." Archeologists and historians remain skeptical without clearer physical proof.
Noah's Ark May Never Be Found, But The Great Flood Is All But Confirmed
To date, much of the physical evidence showing the existence of Noah's Ark is incomplete. Ron Wyatt's discovery has largely been discredited, even by Snopes, which determines that the boat-shaped object is a naturally occurring formation.
Other efforts to find the ark itself have encountered similar problems. A 1993 documentary on CBS that presented physical evidence of the ark's discovery was later proved to be a hoax. The piece of wood said to be from the ark was actually from a California railroad track.
There Is Evidence That A Massive Flood Swept Civilization Away
Stories of great floods exist in many ancient societies. The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest pieces of literature in history, tells of a devastating flood sent by the gods. One of the gods even tells a man to "[t]ear down the house and build a boat. Abandon wealth and seek living beings. Make all living beings go up into the boat."
The Romans and Greeks also told tales of Deucalion and Pyrrha, who built an ark to survive a flood sent by Zeus. And then there's Noah, the most famous ark-builder, who, according to the book of Genesis, survived the flood and saved his family and two of every animal.
Enormous Floods Plagued Ancient Mesopotamia
Many of flood legends originated in Mesopotamia, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers brought devastating floods on an unpredictable schedule. Even today, the land formations hold signs of massive floods.
Archeologists have shown that there were a number of serious floods in Mesopotamia between 4000 and 2000 BCE. One of the cities between the rivers was Uruk, which was the largest city in the world around 3000 BCE, with a population of 50,000 people. Even a relatively minor flood would have had a devastating impact on the people of these early cities.
Floods were also a common occurrence; either one destructive flood or a series of recurring floods could have birthed the many stories of the Great Flood.