Bible's Noah's Ark Could Possibly Stay Afloat With 2 of the 35,000 Animal Species Aboard

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By Reissa Su | April 5, 2014 12:53 PM EST

Noah's Ark from the Bible could have floated with two of every animal available during that time inside the boat.

British physicists from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester have arrived at this conclusion based on the boat's dimensions as cited in the Bible.

In the book of Genesis, God ordered Noah to build an ark for him and his family, including two of every species of animals to keep them safe from the great flood. Noah's Ark was about 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high.

The researchers assigned one cubit to be equivalent to 48.2 centimeters. Converting the values, they found that Noah's Ark could hold the weight of about 2.5 million sheep. Previous studies suggested 35,000 animal species existed during Noah's time.

The researchers said it was not clear if all the animals combined would actually fit inside the ark. But they believed the boat would not sink and remain afloat.

They also used the book, The Genesis Flood, by Dr. Thomas Morris and Dr. Whitbomb, as reference which contained the suggestion that Noah would need to save 35,000 species to repopulate the world after the flood.

Morris, one of the physicists, said they were not proving that Noah's Ark was true but they believed the idea will "definitely work." They were surprised to find that the ark would work using the given measurements in the Bible since it was not thought of as an accurate source of scientific information.

Benjamin Jordan, Morris' colleague said they calculated the buoyancy force using the ark's dimensions and the water density.

According to Archimedes' principle, the buoyancy force must be equal to the weight of the volume of the fluid of the object should displace. The physicists were able to arrive at the estimated total mass which the ark could support before gravitational weight was overcome by buoyancy force. 

The findings of their study were presented in the peer-review student-run Journal of Physics Special Topics.  

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