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Noah`s Ark may have floated even with 70,000 animals

Last Updated: Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 19:25

London: Noah`s Ark, mentioned in the Bible, may indeed have floated without sinking - even with two of every animal in the world on board, a new study has claimed.

The study by the University of Leicester students shows Noah`s Ark would have been strong enough to carry pairs of each animal species.

Researchers calculated that Noah`s Ark, built to accommodate at least two of every animal species, would have floated using the dimensions ordained in the Bible.

In Bible, Noah is commanded to build an Ark to survive a flood. Noah is provided exact dimensions for the boat which should be: 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high and should hold Noah, his family, and at least two of every species of animal for the duration of the flood, according to researchers.
Using these dimensions, Archimedes` principle and suitable approximations, Leicester Physics students tested the instructions and were surprised with their results.

"Every object when immersed in a liquid has an upwards force acting against it - a buoyancy force; it also has a weight acting downwards - a downwards force, and in order for it to float, these two forces need to be equal," said lead researcher Oliver Youle.

"Using the dimensions of the Ark and the density of the water, we were able to calculate its buoyancy force, which, according to Archimedes` principle, is equal to the weight of the volume of fluid the object displaces," student Benjamin Jordan, said.
"This meant we were then able to estimate the total mass the Ark could support before the gravitational weight would overcome the buoyancy force, causing the Ark to sink, which we calculated as 50.54x106kg," said Jordan.

In order to calculate the overall downward force of the Ark, the students needed to know the mass of the animals on board.

Previous research has suggested that the average mass of an animal is approximately equal to that of one sheep, 23.47kg, which was the figure used.

"Our conclusions were that the Ark would support the weight of 2.15 million sheep without sinking and that should be enough to support all of the species that were around at the time," Youle added.

Previous study suggests that there were approximately 35,000 species of animals which would have needed to be saved by Noah, enabling the students to conclude that the dimensions given in the Bible would have allowed Noah to build an Ark that would float with all of the animals on board.

The findings were published in the Journal of Physics Special Topics.

First Published: Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 19:25

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