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Diving into Noah's Flood Facts

A close-up of a small stone tool is held up by Archeologist Dr. Jeff Rose who is in search of evidence of an ancient flood in Mesopotamia.

A close-up of a small stone tool is held up by Archeologist Dr. Jeff Rose who is in search of evidence of an ancient flood in Mesopotamia. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channels

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  • Dr. Jeffrey Rose is not the first scientist to theorize that the filling of the Persian Gulf was an event that inspired stories that made their way into the Old Testament. Archaeologist Juris Zarins proposed his theory decades ago. He believed that the land inundated by the Gulf's creation was the site of the Garden of Eden, a fertile paradise from which ancient man was expelled.

  • Sumer, Iraq is the location of the earliest known civilization. This is also the location of what was known as ancient Mesopotamia. This is where the wheel and the boat sail were invented. They are also responsible for the time being divided into units of 60.

  • The biblical story of Noah and the flood was long considered the first and only tale of an ancient inundation. When George Smith translated the Sumerian flood story contained in the Epic Gilgamesh in 1872, he became so excited at the discovery of a flood story predating the Bible's version that he is said to have run around the otherwise quiet study room, shouting ecstatically and taking off his clothes.

  • If Noah were to have two of every animal on the Ark, he would have to bring over 10,000 species of birds and 350,000 species of beetles.

  • Folklorists have catalogued myths involving deluges and inundations from all parts of the world, even from those areas where wide-scale flooding would have been unlikely. Anthropologists Alan Dundes theorized that these stories are representative of the universal concept of rebirth and renewal.

  • In order to submerge the entire world, including Mount Everest, it would take over one million cubic miles of water or more than three times the amount of water in the Earth's oceans. 

  • The flooding of the Gulf occurred at the end of the last ice age, when glacial melt caused sea levels to rise. In this sense, the flood could be considered a global event, though not so complete as to cover all the earth's land mass.

  • Noah was instructed to build an ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits tall. The word cubit comes from the Latin word “cubitum” which means elbow.  This is because a cubit is equal to the length between a man's elbow and the tip of his middle finger

  • According to the Old Testament's account, Noah's Ark came to rest upon Mount Ararat once the waters receded. Scientific teams have since attempted to locate remnants of the vessel atop the mountain in Turkey, though no evidence has been accepted as proof of the ark's existence.

  • When the Morganza spillway was opened to save New Orleans from flooding, over about 3,000 square miles of land was flooded.
2 comments
Patricia Moye
Patricia Moye

Why must most of the explorers on National Geographic begin their suppositions with no belief in God and the Bible.  Apparently Dr. Rose does not have a Christian world view.  As a Christian - I begin with the belief that the creator God caused all things to come into existence - the evidence fairly screams at us from all angles of this beautiful world.  The most likely reason the flood story is a world wide story is because it DID happen world wide.  Only God could do that.  Dr. Rose discounts God.  A real shame.

Patricia Moye
Patricia Moye

As a Christian I understand that the reason there are flood stories all over the world is because there was actually a world wide flood - brought about by God!