Noah's Ark found! Again!

Last week, Noah's Ark Ministries, including evangelical explorers and filmmakers, announced that they had found the remnants of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey. (Read all about the claim in National Geographic.) Of course, this isn't the first group that's "found" Noah's Ark. No, it's at least the sixth in the last 50 years. Over at Discovery News, the Skeptical Inquirer's Benjamin Radford provides "A Short History of Noah's Ark Discoveries." From Discovery:
 Wikipedia Commons 2 23 Noahs Ark Interest in the Ark spiked in the 1970s after a man named Georgie Hagopian said he located and climbed on the remains of the Ark at least twice--though he claimed it occurred some 60 years earlier (in the early 1900s) and could offer no evidence to back it up. One of the first people to claim to have found the Ark on Mt. Ararat was a woman named Violet Cummings, who in the early 1970s wrote a book titled Noah's Ark: Fable or Fact? Despite its intriguing title, the claim turned out to be fable, not fact. A few years later, in 1976, yet another man claimed to have discovered the Ark on Ararat, and offered ambiguous photos as proof but nothing more came of it.

Interest waned until the 1990s, when CBS television aired a primetime special titled The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark, which finally offered seemingly definitive proof in the form of an eyewitness who owned a piece of wood he claimed was from the ark. The whole thing turned out to be a huge hoax; CBS and its viewers had been duped.
"A Short History of Noah's Ark Discoveries"

(painting above is Edward Hicks' "Noah's Ark," 1846)


  1. Has anyone found a Mesopotamian “Noah’s Ark” yet? Which started as a tradition of farmers building rafts to save their livestock from seasonal floods on the Tigris & Euphrates rivers?

    1. I know babalon was/is a swamp, but is that the best way to avoid a flood? Seems like quite a bit of work to build the yearly raft ‘ark’.
      It would be fun if something is found but I don’t expect it.

  2. that’s awesome…. send it to Nashville, in case no on heard, We Are FUCKING Drowning down here. kthxbye.

  3. The sad part is that Genesis doesn’t say anything about where the Ark landed. All that it says is the “mountains of Ararat” which could refer to any mountain in that entire region. Mount Ararat is simply the one that the fundies have fixated on for no real reason.

  4. The Ark is not genetically possible. The more fundies fixate on this the clearer their ignorance becomes.

      1. Genetics dictate that species need a certain number to survive, going below that number leads to adverse effects, as the whole species is exclusively inbreeding. so most would not have survied bottlenecking down to 2 individuals.
        Another point, bottlenecking can be proven and quantified (e.g. how many individuals were left?) many generations afterwards in the distribution of mitochondrial genes. For humans, a bottleneck was postulated around 70.000 years ago (Possibly only 2000 individuals were left alive then by some disaster), but for most investigated species, no such bottleneck is apparent in near (~10 000 generations) history.
        Noah&Friends would have had to adhere to one hell of a specific breeding programme to counter this bottleneck, coveting of the neighbours ass would not have begun to describe it.

        1. most would not have survied bottlenecking down to 2 individuals.

          Genetics. The writers of the Bible myths didn’t know anything about genetics, so had no idea they were backing themselves into a corner.

          Darwin didn’t know anything about genetics either, but once science figured out how genetics worked it fit right in with his theory of evolution; Darwin seemed to understand it was there even if he didn’t know how it worked.

          A lot of Bible defenders will ultimately use God’s magic to explain away everything: genetic bottlenecks don’t matter because God can do anything and He will make it right, etc. It’s like playing cards, and one side always has a wild card in their sleeve they get to pull out when their chips are down– there’s no point in playing the game with them, just point out “that’s cheating” and move on.

  5. If you read The Counter-Creationism Handbook, there’s an interesting bit about how, even if Noah’s Ark does exist, Mount Ararat is probably the wrong place to look for it: the term as it’s used in the Bible refers to the entire mountain range, not that specific location.

    Of course, the book immediately goes on to prove that the entire point is moot: assuming there ever was an Ark, no part of a wooden boat is going to survive 5000 years (or however old they think the Earth is) of exposure to conditions like that. These “findings” have been debunked as hoaxes so many times it’s just stupid that anyone takes them seriously anymore.

    1. Even if Noah’s Ark were real, wouldn’t the wood have rotted away a long time ago?

      There are woven baskets in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo that are 5,000 years old and look like they should be on a shelf at Bed Bath and Beyond. You’d be surprised how well organic material holds up under the right conditions.

  6. So let’s see. . . his evidence consists of one piece of wood apparently carbon dated to 5000 years old, local beliefs, and the Bible. Beliefs and the Bible constitute absolutely no kind of evidence (obviously), and the wood? Even if it is 5000 years old, that hardly constitutes evidence of an ark, just evidence that wood existed 5000 years ago (a scientific milestone!). When somebody finds an actual gigantic boat up on a mountain dated to 5000 years ago, with evidence of ancient animal dung inside, I’ll listen with open ears.

    1. No you wouldn’t. If someone showed you a family photo of Noah and his family in front of the Ark along with the Noah family home videos of the trip you still wouldn’t believe. You’d say the picture was photoshopped and the video was just cleverly edited with digital effects or you’d come up with theories on why it was fake. If you don’t believe the Ark existed without having seen it you wouldn’t believe it if you got a personal tour.

      I think the “fundies” that are searching for the Ark have missed the point altogether. If you’re searching for hard evidence to prove the Bible so you can rub the “evidence” in the doubters faces then you need to go back and re-read the Bible cause you missed the whole point.

      I believe the Ark in the literal sense of the written accounts in the Bible but it’s not something that will ever be found. If it could be then it removes the idea of faith from the equation and without faith it is impossible to please God. The point of the story of the Ark in the Bible is not to provide a reference point to find evidence that the flood in fact took place. It is rather a picture of salvation in Jesus Christ and is meant to draw parallels between the two events and ultimately to point to Christ.

      1. No you wouldn’t. If someone showed you a family photo of Noah and his family in front of the Ark along with the Noah family home videos of the trip you still wouldn’t believe. You’d say the picture was photoshopped and the video was just cleverly edited with digital effects…

        So, hypothetically, I’m being deliberately ignorant for disbelieving VIDEO and PHOTOGRAPHS of persons said to have existed long before video and photography were invented?! Wow, you got me there.

        I have long believed that Bible stories are based on some actual events, so I would be willing to believe in an ark of some sort, but I would still doubt the whole Bible deluge myth, because (ahem) it just doesn’t “hold water.” (See my other post for details.)

        Faith? The word seems to have different meanings to different people.

      2. The point of the story of the Ark in the Bible is not to provide a reference point to find evidence that the flood in fact took place. It is rather a picture of salvation in Jesus Christ and is meant to draw parallels between the two events and ultimately to point to Christ.

        Wow. I’m just wondering, do they actually still teach the history of the bible in Sunday schools these days, or do they just tell people that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the whole thing?

        The “point” of the ark story in the bible has nothing with Jesus, since the book of Genesis was written hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, and is a major story in all three major Semitic religions. To put it another way, “it’s not all about you.”

        The Old Testament isn’t just an “introduction” to the New Testament, written just as nice literary device in order to get on to the main event.

        1. No dude, they teach it as fact. As in, this is the word of GOD and if you fail to love GOD and his son JESUS you will BURN IN HELL CHILDREN, and you KNOW IT’S TRUE BECAUSE GOD WROTE the BIBLE! AMEN.

          They shout a lot at kids you see.

          I know this because my Grandfather is a Penticostal Minister (Pastor). So is my Father. And my Uncle. My Grandma is a senior Women Leader. And so on.

          They use this and other stories to scare the living shit out of little kids so that they will stay in the church and pay up when they are older.

          It’s a living

  7. I still can’t believe how enormous the human capacity for self-deception can be. There is NO SUCH thing as god(s) and all religions are just made up stories, myths, legends etc. The bible is just a fairytale book. Scientifically speaking, something such as the biblical Noah’s ark could NEVER EVER have existed.

    This quote sums up religion as a whole: “The great mass of people…will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”
    Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

  8. I’m a bit confused about using carbon dating to prove the existence of Noah’s Ark — a technique that relies on physical principles directly contradicting the supposed age of the Earth, as stated in the Bible.

  9. The entire Noah’s Ark story is so full of holes it’s amazing anybody is even looking for it (I mean, the flood is over, the world is a mess, and Noah and his family walk down off the mountain and just leave all that wood there?! Of course not, it becomes firewood or gets used to build a house.)

    Besides, knowing how many animals exist on Earth now, HOW do you fit 2 of each in a boat of the size described in the Bible? (would a boat that size even fit 2 of every insect on Earth?) How do you feed them for 40 days? Once they are set free again what do they eat then? (I mean, the carnivores would have devoured all the herbivores in very short order.) And of course the biggest elephant in the room– where do we get enough water to completely submerge all land?

    If the entire charade was to teach mankind a lesson, well, the only people left are Noah’s family, and they were good people anyway, so they didn’t need to be taught anything– everyone else is dead so it’s not like they are going to change their ways and start living righteous lives after the flood.

    1. Besides, knowing how many animals exist on Earth now, HOW do you fit 2 of each in a boat of the size described in the Bible?

      And let’s not even mention the other telling of the story that specifies many more of the “clean” animals.

      Off topic, but what amazes me is how some people act as though a small handful of mistakes or hoaxes involving fossils completely disproves evolution (despite the constant accumulation of verifiable evidence)… but yet another debunked finding of Noah’s Ark doesn’t change anything.

  10. Oh, this is just a blatant ploy to get Nimoy out of retirement for a final edition of “In Search Of”.

  11. Wouldn’t it be funny if they accidentally found irrefutable proof that the Greek gods existed instead?

  12. Good point, Sproogle and invictus. I’d actually be kind of impressed if I heard someone say “well, we can’t really say that this backs up the case for a literal translation of the Bible, because the science behind it would seem to confirm that the Earth is much, much older than the Bible says it is.”

  13. >Of course, this isn’t the first group that’s “found” Noah’s Ark. No, it’s at least the sixth in the last 50 years.

    Silly people. Noah obviously had a fleet.

    1. “Silly people. Noah obviously had a fleet.”

      And very likely a Rag-Tag Fleet at that…

  14. They’re looking in the wrong place! I’m pretty sure that Joan girl who got burned at the stake was from France, not Turkey.

  15. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the primitive war deity known as JHVH-1 exists, or at least existed at the time of the Flood. Let us also assume that there was a Flood, a deluge of (ahem) Biblical proportions, and that a fella named Noah got forewarning from JHVH-1 (or one of his agents in the local franchise) that it was coming, and he was able to build, provision and populate this boat in time to save his family and a few pairs of barnyard animals from the rising waters. Let’s say all that is true.

    Now, here we are, standing with Noah on the side of a mountain, the waters receding and his boat stranded. He and his family are without shelter, firewood or building materials,low on provisions and caring for a bunch of animals without barns, pens or troughs. And there is the Ark, its work complete, sitting there, doing nothing.

    Taking all the above into account, how long do you think that boat was going to last before they tore it apart for its wood?

    Even if such a boat ever existed, no way would it exist now. Would have been turned into kindling and siding ages ago.

  16. Apparently, it has already been un-found. that didn’t take long.

    The Chinese team went in the late summer of 2009 (I was there at the time and knew about the hoax) and was shown the cave with the wood and made their film. As I said, I have the photos of the inside of the so-called Ark (that show cobwebs in the corners of rafters – something just not possible in these conditions) and our Kurdish partner in Dogubabyazit (the village at the foot of Mt. Ararat) has all of the facts about the location, the men who planted the wood, and even the truck that transported it.

  17. Buried in a desert is different than sitting on a mountaintop. Here’s what a 5,000 year old wooden boat looks like when it is carefully wrapped and buried under sand: Khufu’s Solar Boat

    1. Not really. Two best places to preserve organic material is in a desert or cold mountain top. natural mummies occurred in both. Look at the “Ice Man” for example.

      1. Hot/cold do only feature in reducing humidity. Any place with 0% water in the air is mummy territory. The Atacama or Taklamakan are not necessarily extreme in the temperature department, but feature great mummies.

      2. Octopussoup @ #43: You make a good point. I didn’t realize the summit had an icecap. Thanks!

  18. I’ve just looked a little more carefully at the link I found, and while it has some nice photos of the boat, it erroneously dates it at being only a little more than 2,000 years old. Uh, nope! Khufu’s pyramid was finished around 2560BCE and the boat is from his funeral effects.

  19. How Big Is A Cubit?

    (KJV) Genesis Chapter Seven: (Verse 19) And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. (20) Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

    Mt. Ararat is 16,854 ft tall, for water to cover “The mountains of Ararat” each cubit would have to be approximately 1123.6 feet in scope. Now if the traditional cubit length is used (18 inches) the water only rose 270 inches or 22.5 feet. A great flood, but not enough to say “the mountains were covered.”
    Taking the above notation of the size of a cubit and multiplying by the 300 cubits the ark was in length, the ark would be 337,080 feet (63.84 miles) long, as well as 56,180 feet (10.64 miles) wide and 33,708 feet (6.38 miles) tall.

    Read more at my site! The very basic numbers don’t even work, unless this is a space-ship!

    1. I think you misunderstand the passage. A cubit is a known unit of measurement (for the time period and location, probably around 17 inches or 43cm). It is saying that the waters were 21 feet over the top of the tallest mountain.

      There is a different problem with the passage: the ark would be 425 feet (130 meters) long, which would make it by far the largest wooden ship ever constructed. Even ships 100 feet shorter needed extensive metal bracing and constant pumping. There is no way it could exist.

  20. Here is the first hurdle: the bible asserts that the sea level rose to height of Mount Ararat.

    Think about that. Do some math. And if you still want to discuss the whereabouts of the ark, you’re a moron.

  21. Kangaroos & Wallabies? Three toed sloths? {add long and growing list of animals unknown to the writers of biblical idiocy but extant today in far-off places)

    So where did said animals come from? They weren’t saved in the ark. Evolution is a scam (you can’t possibly insert enough sarcasm there so don’t bother). So – what? Angels came down and carefully placed them around the globe – oops, I mean the flat plain of the earth – and held classes to teach them how to behave?

    These people are simply delugional.

  22. Forget trying to disprove the Noah’s Ark story using science, let’s realize that the story was never intended to be interpreted literally. This is simply one of a thousand flood stories from around the world, and many of them are older than the Noah’s Ark story. No one is going out to look for evidence of Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim’s boat.

    Too many people think that history starts with the Bible, but the Bible is not even a historical document. It was only written so people could continue to tell their folk fables. Even the Jesus part is a fable about some made-up guy who they thought would be really great. Just like Noah’s Ark, there is not a drop of credible historical evidence supporting a real Jesus.

    With that being said, I have to admit that I love the Genesis stories, and I love the teachings of Jesus. They’re good stories, just not true stories.

  23. It’s about five years since ~about every 1666th citizen of the US died during a flooding (said to have been gods will) that is called the biggest natural disaster in the US ever, the (mythified) history of which will live on for a long time. Scaling that down to olden times, we have to look for the drowning of about 30 people in the sparsely populated middle east, with some PTSDed fishermen mumbling about how they got their boat ready just in time…

  24. I don’t understand why people try to disprove the impossible. Its foolish! You can never prove God empirically or through the Scientific method simply because GOD does not fall into that category! Not everything can be empirically proven! This is the same thing Dawkins had trouble with when John Lennox debated him!..

    1. Indeed. It is the definition of ‘everything’ that the discussion hinges on. For scientists, ‘everything’ is what can be shown to be. Pluto long was not, then the possibility of Pluto was, and later the planet itself. Later it was, but not a planet anymore. God not being provable exists, God not being very likely also exists. Concept of God as an entity that does not interact with physical reality? Totally exists, but so does the Concept of the teakettle in orbit around the sun, since it’s inception.

  25. I was raised by with and among the fundiest of the fundies. They always answered the ‘hard questions’ of genetics (basically, the questions that even a child such as myself knew to ask) with “Jebus made it ok, just that one time” or “you don’t have to count all the sea creatures”…

    It’s always rather pathetic to watch them try to contort themselves into a position that allows such silly-ass fairy tales to be aligned with fact.

    Here’s a hint though – you can’t debate them. They don’t care how ‘valid’ your point is. After all, they have “Gawd on their side,” and “he is not mocked.” No matter how much human understanding of biology has advanced in recent centuries.

  26. So after 40 days and nights the freshwater rain would have mixed in with the salt water creating a deadly mix that would have killed everything. All plant and vegetation life as well as insects would have been destroyed, a 800 year old man would never have build the worlds largest boat, let alone crossed oceans to gather all 6,000 species of reptiles, 9,000 birds, 1,000 amphibians, and 15,000 species of mammals. Also the millions of undiscovered animals as well. Anyone who buys into this is already taken a huge leap in logic so I can see why they would see this as verifiable. Also big lulz on criticizing Carbon dating with the Shroud of Turin, but then Championing it with this make up your mind already.

  27. If, in fact, the whole earth were covered with water, no oxygen-breathing species could survive, because there would be no plants to produce what “Noah’s” fly and animals need to breathe. Science, folks, science. Amen.

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