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Creation 37(3):21, July 2015

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A walk in the pArk


Garden laid out on biblical dimensions


Anti-creationists often ridicule the biblical account of Noah’s Ark, saying it would be impossible to fit all the animals inside it.

For instance, two evolutionists, overlooking creation models, claim: “His ark would have had to find room for something like 1 million species of insect, 25,000 species of bird, 2,500 species of amphibians, 6,000 species of reptiles, and several thousand species of mammals, not to mention cultures of tens of thousands of species of microorganisms, all identified without the aid of a microscope.”1

The median size of all animals on the Ark would have been that of a small rat, while only about 11% would have been much larger than a sheep.

However, John Woodmorappe refuted such criticisms in his book Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study,2 and estimated there were about 16,000 animals aboard. One important point is that kind is not the modern ‘species’; Woodmorappe’s figures equate the kind with the modern ‘genus’, whereas in many cases it could be the ‘family’ or even the ‘order’. Also, no marine creatures were on board as intentional passengers. The median size of all animals on the Ark would have been that of a small rat, while only about 11% would have been larger than a sheep.

The dimensions given in Genesis 6:15—300 cubits long and 50 cubits wide—can be hard to visualise. Even the smallest cubit3 of 18 inches would result in an Ark 138 m × 23 m × 14 m (450 ft × 75 ft × 45 ft), i.e. a volume of about 44,400 m3 (1.52 million cu. feet).

Now, however, visitors to the beautiful National Trust4 Garden at Trengwainton, near Penzance, Cornwall, UK, can see for themselves just how vast an area that is. The kitchen garden there, surrounded by brick walls, is divided into five sections of equal size. Archives show that it was well known locally that the walled garden was built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark as stated in the Bible. When the kitchen gardens walls are measured, they do indeed match these dimensions.

Archives show that it was well known locally that the walled garden was built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark.

The man mainly responsible for shaping this garden in the 1800s was Sir Rose Price. As the 1st Baronet Price of Trengwainton, Sir Rose was the son of a wealthy Jamaican sugar planter. He created the garden in 1814, using brick, a warmer but more expensive material than the local granite. This was no mean feat. A kiln had to be purchased to fire the bricks on site, and two shiploads of materials had to be transported from Somerset—240 km (150 miles) away!5 Inside the walls he built a series of compartments with raised beds, angled to best catch the winter sun. Although similar beds were built in other gardens, those at Trengwainton are believed to be the last remaining of their kind. The raised beds enabled early crops of vegetables.

On discovering the significance of the dimensions of the walled garden, the National Trust erected a wooden viewing platform near the top of one of the walls which enables visitors to view the dimensions and visualise how huge Noah’s Ark really was. Visitors can also wander around and imagine for themselves how many animals could be fitted into such an expanse.

There is no doubt about it—Noah’s Ark was BIG! And don’t forget it had three storeys!


References and notes

  1. Allaby, M. and Lovelock, J., The Great Extinction: What Killed the Dinosaurs and Devastated the Earth? Paladin Books, London, p. 15, 1985. Return to text.
  2. Woodmorappe, J., Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study, Institute for Creation Research, Santee, California, 2003. Return to text.
  3. The exact measure of a cubit has long been debated and could have been about 50 cm (20 in) or more. See Lovett, T., Which cubit for Noah’s Ark? J. Creation 20(3):71–77, 2006; creation.com/cubit. Return to text.
  4. The National Trust is a United Kingdom conservation charity which protects historic places and green spaces. Return to text.
  5. See Trengwainton Garden, nationaltrust.org.uk, 2014. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $10.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Egil W.
Hi. Thanks. Since the topography of the "dry land" probably was much different then, than after the Flood, there are no strong reasons to believe that it would be impossible or difficult to get a pair or seven, of all the types of animals which were to be represented. For all we know, they may all have lived in their particular habitational sones around the area were the Ark was built. We could also easily envision rooms in the ark, with metal(covered) cases, boxes, chests or the like being used for insects (many of them which would go into "winter-mode"). There are also many ancient or antique paintings or drawings of people transporting animals (Egyptian, Roman etc). These could perhaps provide clues to the details of how people in ancient times would go about providing for animals during sea or water transport.
It is also interesting to see that the Bible mentions that the Ark landed on the mountains of Ararat; a region between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea to the south. They could be interpreted as some of regionally closest seas or water-accumulating places to have developed as the world-covering waters sank and ran into the ocean basins, leaving behind isolated salt-seas and lakes. At least I find it so fascinating that the Bible uses a specific name for the place/region where the Ark landed (or rested).
That testifies to the intentions of the author to say that this happened in a (to them) known place, like the Shinar-plain (directly south of Ararat), or the many descendants of Noahs sons who got lands, countries and kingdoms named after them; Madai, Elam, Cush, Misrajim; to us Media, Persia, Ethiopia/Sudan, Egypt.
It is reported as history (as we would use the word when saying "studying history"): real people, real places, real events.
Fascinating stuff.

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