The Big Question 53: Has Noah’s Ark Been Found?
Jun 11, 2020 1708
Has Noah’s ark been found?
This is actually a really big mystery. Noah’s ark is the world’s most famous cargo ship. The Bible says God told Noah to build in order to save himself, his family, and the animals of the world during the worldwide flood that the Bible describes.
At the end of the flood that destroyed the world, the Bible says that,
on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat (Gen 8:4, NIV).
The tradition that the remains of Noah’s ark existed and were able to be visited goes right back to antiquity. Mt Ararat is in Armenia, and the long-standing tradition in that country is that the ark is there on Mt Ararat.
The history of modern expeditions to try to find the ark go back to the early nineteenth century. The results of these generally fall into three categories.
First of all you have the unsuccessful expeditions. For example, James Irwin was the US astronaut, who experienced a conversion to faith during the Apollo 15 mission. He later led two expeditions to Ararat in the 1980s to try to find the ark, where he was even kidnapped once.
Another group of expeditions are those resulting in inconclusive or unsubstantiated claims. There is a story that Tsar Nicholas II of Russia sent an expedition of 150 men to Mt Ararat in 1916 to explore a large object, and I quote, “as large as a city block.” At the same time, the Russian Revolution was breaking out, at the reports were given to Leon Trotsky, the communist leader, who destroyed them. We don’t really know if that’s true or not.
A third group of expeditions can probably be classified as outright hoaxes, like a joint Turkish-Hong Kong expedition in 2007 that claimed to have found a massive petrified wooden structure well above the vegetation line. However, for various compelling reasons, this supposed discovery is widely considered to be a hoax.
Lots of people still want to go to Mt Ararat to search for Noah’s Ark, but there’s one big problem. In 1920, there was a war between Turkey and Armenia, the two countries that Mt Ararat straddles, and the area is now a military restricted zone. It’s almost impossible to get permission to go up Mt Ararat.
Is Noah’s Ark up there? I’d like to think so. But lots of questions remain.
It would be nice to find it, but personally, I don’t need it to believe, or to be able to tell someone, “I told you so.” But if one day someone did actually find Noah’s Ark, that’ll be one more Big Question answered!