It’s one of the most well-known stories from the Bible: Noah and his family were instructed by God to build an ark and load it with two of every animal. Noah did as he was instructed and the great flood came, destroying everything except Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark.
But did the great flood actually happen, or is the story of Noah just a myth?
Mapping the Sea Floor
Maritime archaeologist, Zdravka Georgieva, along with a team of scientists from Bulgaria’s Center for Underwater Archaeology, in partnership with Professor Jon Adams from the University of Southampton, mapped the floor of the Black Sea using sonar technology and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The researchers happened upon a startling site: A Greek trading ship that turned out to be the oldest of its kind ever discovered.
Science vs. Scripture
At depths such as those the team was exploring, we know some facts with absolute certainty:
“There is so little oxygen that the timbers have hardly decayed and that some of these ancient boats are in such good condition that ‘individual chisel marks’ appear on the planks of the hulls. According to both the BBC and The Sun, further studies might help explain the origins of the biblical flood that was sent by God to wipe out corruption and violence in the story of Noah’s Ark.
Marine geologists William Ryan and Walter Pitman published a book in 2000 entitled Noah’s Flood in which they suggested that the real flood which may have inspired the story of the Biblical flood occurred about 20,000 years ago and took place in the Black Sea:
“The Black Sea was a small freshwater lake cut off from the Mediterranean by a land bridge. At the end of the last Ice Age, according to the authors, the Mediterranean began to rise and a seawater deluge ‘200 times stronger than Niagara Falls’ causing the Black Sea to ‘explode’ in size, flooding an area ‘the size of Ireland within months.'”
That theory, while intriguing, has more than its share of critics, many of whom say such a scenario is highly unlikely. But some evidence found on land does support the idea of a Black Sea flood that might have been seen as a sign from God:
“The foundations of ancient buildings were found along the Black Sea’s pre-flood shoreline, 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) off the Turkish Black Sea coast, somewhat adding credence to this idea.”
No Such Flood?
A closer look at the facts, however, and the Black Sea flood/Biblical flood theory falls apart. As a matter of fact, there’s even a very good likelihood that no flood of such proportions ever occurred.
“According to the scientists from Black Sea MAP, they ‘don’t believe’ any such flood happened. Dr. Zdravka Georgieva said very clearly ‘there’s no evidence to support this theory and believes that the seas changed over great periods of time.'”
Perhaps the best scientific proof that a worldwide flood never happened can be found in what are known as “raindrop prints,” which record the rain that has fallen over the Earth’s history because they’re preserved in fossils:
“Which could not possibly have been formed and preserved if the muds (now in shales) containing these prints were deposited under water during Noah’s flood, there are rain drops, trillions of them, each one’s geological story shadowed by a legend in the Bible.”
Noah’s Ark is a good myth that doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny, but its larger message may be more important now than it was when it was first written: We are expected to be stewards of the planet and the life that exists upon it. That lesson never gets old.
Here’s more on the Black Sea ship graveyard:
Featured Image Via Pixabay