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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Could All the Animals Fit inside the Ark?

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Don Stewart
Is it possible that all the animals could have fit inside the ark? Though many skeptics have questioned this possibility, the biblical evidence shows the animals certainly could fit.


The size of the ark is given in cubits. The Hebrews had a common cubit of 17.5 inches and a long cubit of 20.4 inches. On the basis of the short cubit the size of the ark would be 437.5 feet in length 72.92 feet in width and 43.75 feet in height. Using the long cubit the length of the ark was 525 feet, the width was 87.5 feet while the height was 52.5 feet. John Whitcomb and Henry Morris comment about the total area of space inside the ark.

Since it had three decks (Gen. 6:16), it has a total deck area of approximately 95,700 square feet (equivalent to slightly more than the area of twenty standard college basketball courts), and its total volume was 1,396,000 cubic judge. The gross tonnage of the Ark (which is a measurement of cubic space rather than weight, one ton in this case being equivalent to 100 cubic feet in usable storage space) was about 13,960 tons, which would place it well within the category of the large metal ocean-going vessels today (John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, The Genesis Flood, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishers, p. 10).

They also note that the ark had the space of 522 railroad stock cars-plenty of space to hold two of each known animal.


There is no reason to doubt that the ark could have contained all animals that presently exist on the earth. Consequently if the Flood were local, then there would be all the more room to house the animals. The ark would have had plenty of space to hold all the animals as well as having sufficient room left over. This would be true whether the Flood was universal or local. Therefore space would not be an issue.

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