Our title asks a simple question. Of course, you might come back with: Horrible compared to what?
Well, consider the example of another crowded ship — one that is historically veifiable — the transatlantic slave ship. According to the Wikipedia article, Slave ship, those vessels could carry about 200 slaves and they looked like this on the inside:
That was one deck. Here’s a cross-section showing all three decks:
We already know about those, because they were real. Now let’s consider Noah’s Ark. According to one of the greatest living experts, Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), who is described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page, the Ark contained “somewhere from 2,000–3,000 actual land animals.” That’s according to this article he recently wrote: How Many Kinds? That means there were more than ten times as many animals on the Ark as there were slaves in a slave ship.
It’s true that there were many small animals on the Ark, but there were a lot of large ones too — including dinosaurs (see AIG: Why Were Dinos Saved on the Ark?). And although Hambo is conveniently invoking the bizarre concept of “kinds,” and assuming that the millions of species now alive somehow evolved from them within the last 4,000 years, the Ark probably had far more than 3,000 animals aboard. It must have been a bit crowded, wouldn’t you think? Indeed, it probably made conditions aboard a slave ship seem luxurious by comparison.
What did the Ark look like on the inside? Nobody knows, of course, but ol’ Hambo’s experts have provided a diagram, which you can see in this article: Caring for the Animals on the Ark. If you click over there and scroll down, you’ll see a drawing of the inside of the Ark, showing all three decks. To us, it looks rather like the drawing of a slave ship. Well, why shouldn’t it? They’re both cargo ships.
If you think conditions on a slave ship were ghastly — according to Wikipedia, an average of 15% and sometimes up to one-third of the slaves didn’t survive the voyage — then it follows that conditions on the Ark were more than ten times worse.
So what do we conclude? Oh, nothing, really. But for a moment, let’s overlook the likelihood that the Ark is pure mythology. Assume that it was real, and then ponder what that voyage must have been like.
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