A few years ago the organization Answers in Genesis decided to create something rather monumental, a life-size replica of Noah’s ark. Using details from the Bible, they were able to construct what the ark would have looked like so long ago when the global flood occurred. The ark was measured in cubits, the length from your fingers to your elbow and was constructed with gopher wood. In my mind, I could barely comprehend something that needed to be so massive to carry the animals we have today. I knew something of this scale would make a lifetime impression on my four-year-old so we piled into the car and drove all the way from Austin, Texas to the very northern tip of Kentucky.
After two days in the car and mini stops in Memphis and Nashville, we made it to our destination. Pulling into the initial parking lot, you could see the ark far off in the distance. It was obvious this thing was huge. We shuffled into the provided shuttles and drove towards the ark as it grew larger and larger in size.
All of a sudden we were there, standing in front of the ship that was Noah’s saving grace.
You could see how it would be able to survive the flood mentioned in the Bible due to the architecture and engineering involved. We snapped a few shots in front, though only the Panorama feature could truly capture everything. On the walk inside we saw several displays with beautiful live birds from all over the world and went up a ramp that would be the entrance.
Immediately thunder started roaring inside a dark ship with animal crates and cages all around making sounds that alluded to the creatures inside. My daughter was frightened by the theatrics and it really brought Noah’s perspective to me. He must have been terrified knowing that a storm that would cover the entire Earth was coming, knowing that he would need to take care of all of these animals he didn’t know much about.
The man had to have a lot of faith. There’s no doubt about that.
As we walked through the first of three floors on the ark, we were presented with displays of how the animals might have been stowed away. It was incredibly interesting to see the tremendous amount of organization taken to pull off such a feat. We also learned theories on how the family might have dealt with sewage, lighting and getting fresh water. There were so many details presented to us. Things my mind had never even had a chance to explore.
The other floors contained information on the salvation story and creationist theories on how our history Biblically aligns with the flood. There are facts that have been extensively researched by world-renowned scientists and laid out in layman’s terms for people like you and I to understand.
Everything presented was incredibly interesting and educational. One major belief is the way that Noah’s family was able to get so many of the animals on the ark is through the fact that God sent two of each “kind” of animal. So instead of thinking that there were several different species of dogs like Poodles, Terriers and Labs on board, there was more likely one type of dog. The dog’s DNA could carry information that would lead to different variations over time. For example, if one of the dog’s parents had short hair and the other had medium hair, that dog would still have that information in its DNA to carry on to its offspring.
There is so much more detail to all of this that is fascinating. I encourage you to look it up if you’re interested. There’s also the belief that the dinosaurs’ extinction was caused partly by this global flood. Going back to my reference of only one of each kind of animal, there may have only been certain species that made it on to the ship, leaving many to perish and be rapidly buried to later become fossilized. This is also totally worth looking up. You’ll be surprised how much of this makes sense once you start diving in.
After a full day of education, we walked outside and enjoyed donkey and camel rides, a petting zoo and more. Oh, and don’t let me forget the Monte Cristo sandwich we indulged in filled with cheese and ham, deep fried in funnel cake batter, topped with powdered sugar and served alongside blackberry jam.
Yeah, that happened too.
It was a day’s worth of activity and you could honestly stay inside of the ark for hours reading up on all of the information provided. I left learning a lot and finding my faith strengthened with the education I had received in such a short amount of time.
My daughter ended up getting over her fears and learning quite a bit as well. That was the most rewarding part. So all in all, we give the ark an A+. It’s definitely worth a visit with your family. Not only will you be blown away with what was accomplished building it but you’ll also catch yourself learning more than you ever realized while munching on a decadent Monte Cristo.
It’s a win-win.