Answers in Genesis skeptical of researchers’ claims Noah’s Ark may have been found in Turkey

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter | Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Noah's Ark, Turkey
The Durupinar formation site in Eastern Turkey is what some believe to be the resting spot of Noah’s Ark from the Bible. | Getty Images

Young Earth creationist organization Answers in Genesis, which operates the Ark Encounter attraction in Kentucky, has expressed doubt over researchers’ claims that a boat-like formation found in eastern Turkey could likely be the location of Noah’s Ark. 

Earlier this year, archaeologists associated with a project called Noah’s Ark Scans reported that ground-penetrating radar showed unusual formations underneath a boat-like formation found near Mount Tendürek, which they say matched the “exact length” of the ark given in the Old Testament.

Moving forward, a team of Turkish researchers and other supporters plan to do the “most complete geophysical survey and scientific study of this site to date.” 

In a post online last week, Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham noted that the Durupinar formation site had been speculated to be the site of Noah’s Ark as far back as 1959.

Ken Ham
Ken Ham in front of the Ark Encounter theme park that opened in Williamstown, Kentucky on July 7, 2016. | Ark Encounter

In his post, Ham included statements by geologist Andrew Snelling, director of Answers in Genesis’ research department. Snelling does not expect the ark to have survived intact to this day.

“With no mature trees available for Noah and his family to build shelters after they got off the Ark, there is every reason to expect they dismantled the Ark (which they didn’t need anymore) to salvage timber from it,” stated Snelling.

“Besides, this claimed Ark site is in a valley and not on a mountain as described by the Genesis account. It is unclear exactly the identity and location of the ‘mountains of Ararat’ [Genesis 8:4; notice the plural word ‘mountains’], but even this site sits on volcanic lava flows (under the mud flows), which like Mount Ararat itself is a post-Flood volcano that even recently erupted.”

Snelling stated that the “geophysical imaging” used by the researchers is ultimately “subject to interpretation based on the bias of the interpreter.”

“The reality is that these ‘investigators’ will never be able to establish what is inside this ‘boat-shaped formation’ until such time as they actually excavate the site by digging through it,” he continued.

“They can theorize all they like about the unusual parallel linear and angular features shown up by the geophysical imaging, but until they actually dig into the site to expose those features for visual identification, their theorizing simply remains that.”

Snelling assured that the Ark does not need to be found for believers to “accept it as a historical reality.”

“We already have the infallible testimony of the ever-present, all-knowing Creator in His Word,” Snelling wrote. “And even if the Ark were found, scoffers would still reject the evidence, dismissing it as a replica built by worshippers to a myth they believed in.”

The Noah’s Ark Scans researchers have referenced private geophysical surveys conducted in 2014 and 2019 that show “layers and interesting angular structures below the ground.”

“The new GPR data shows parallel lines and angular structures 8 to 20 feet down,” stated the project on its website.

“These parallel lines and right angles below the surface are something you would not expect to see in a natural, geologic formation. Interestingly, the boat formation has also been confirmed to be the exact length of the ark given in the Bible (Genesis 6:15).”

In an interview with The U.S. Sun, project head Andrew Jones said that the GPR data is “not what you would expect to see if this site is just a solid block of rock or an accumulation of random debris from a mudflow.”

“But these results are what you would expect to see if this is a man-made boat matching the Biblical requirements of Noah’s Ark,” added Jones.

Jones is joined in the project by Ryan Mauro, president of the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation, and Dr. Fethi Yuksel from Istanbul University.  Members of the team spent four days in August surveying the site. Jones had previously stated that there won’t be an excavation until the “geophysical surveys, core drilling and geological studies are complete.”

According to Jones, Yuksel has obtained a permit to work in the area, which will “speed up the process.”

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AUDIO Apologist Ken Ham’s response to atheists, skeptics who ‘scoff’ at Noah’s Ark

By Billy Hallowell, Op-ed Contributor Friday, February 19, 2021

Ken Ham in front of the Ark Encounter theme park that opened in Williamstown, Kentucky on July 7, 2016. | Ark Encounter

Apologist Ken Ham, CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis, is no stranger to making headlines as he embraces innovative and uncommon ways of spreading the Christian faith.

But he attracted an entirely new level of international attention when he opened the Ark Encounter in 2016, a lifesize replica of Noah’s Ark, located in Williamstown, Kentucky.

Ham, author of the new book, Will They Stand: Parenting Kids to Face the Giants, recently shared with the “Edifi With Billy Hallowell” podcast the path that led him to build the 510-foot long structure, and his quest to help people better understand scripture.

SUBSCRIBE: Listen to “Edifi With Billy Hallowell” Today on the Edifi Podcast App

“Noah’s flood is a very important event … and yet it’s so scoffed at by atheists,” he said, noting that a persistent question always plagued him when he worked as a teacher back in the 1970s.

Listen to Ham discuss this question, his response — and his plea for parents to properly equip their kids to face the giants of the day:

Ham said students would often try to poke holes in the Noah narrative, questioning how all of the animals could have possibly fit inside the ark. They argued that, due to the seemingly insurmountable task, the worldwide flood account simply couldn’t be a real-life story.

This persistent question and argument later left Ham pondering what he could do to better bring the biblical account to life — and that’s where the roots of the Ark Encounter were set.

“What if we built Noah’s Ark to scale using the measurements in the Bible?” he pondered.

That quest culminated in the creation of the massive ark replica, an attraction that is one-and-a-half times the length of a football field. With three decks of exhibits inside the Ark Encounter, Ham believes he’s giving visitors the chance to see the biblical epic in a much clearer light.

“It makes the Bible come alive in a way that people can’t experience elsewhere,” Ham said. “And it answers these skeptical questions.”

The apologist believes the Ark Encounter underscores the great flood as an “integral event in history” and as a reminder of God’s love.

Other of his Podcasts:

“Noah’s Ark, itself, is a picture of Jesus, as Noah and his family went through one door to be saved,” Ham said. “So we need to go through a door to be saved.”

Listen to Ham discuss the ark as well as his new book urging parents to better equip children for an increasingly chaotic culture here.

VIDEO The Ark Landed West of Mt. Ararat



ICR’s Column Project, which has been compiling stratigraphic data from across the globe, is currently examining Turkey’s geology, including the area around Mt. Ararat. One question of interest is when and where Noah’s Ark came to rest. Our results might surprise some people.

The Genesis Flood account says “the waters prevailed” for 150 days (Genesis 7:24) and decreased at the end of the 150 days (Genesis 8:3), leading us to conclude that’s when the Flood peaked. The Ark landed on the same day: “Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month on the mountains of Ararat [‘al harê ‘arârât]” (Genesis 8:4). This was 150 days after the Flood started on the 17th day of the second month (Genesis 7:11).

Figure 1. Google Earth image of the area around Mt. Ararat, including Kagizman Ridge. The line of the section depicted in Figure 2 is shown.

Our research determined the high-water point of the Flood was near the end of the Zuni Megasequence, at or about the end of the Cretaceous System.1 Therefore, the Ark was likely grounded around the Cretaceous-Tertiary (Paleogene) Boundary.

Northeastern Turkey is composed of tectonic plates that were squeezed together during the Flood as Africa and Eurasia collided. The crustal rocks consist of highly metamorphosed Mesozoic sediments and ocean crust that were caught between the colliding plates.2 Uplift of this crustal complex produced a prominent ridge—with “ridge” here matching the Hebrew phrase “mountains/hills of Ararat”—known as Kagizman Ridge. This ridge extends east-west for over 100 miles, with some peaks standing over 10,000 feet in elevation (Figures 1 and 2).3,4 This topographic ridge existed prior to the Eocene (Early Tertiary)4 and likely developed close to the end of the Cretaceous, placing its formation on or about Day 150 of the Flood.

Figure 2. Schematic of north-south section (from Figure 1) showing the geology of Kagizman Ridge. Adapted from reference 4.

After the ridge was emplaced, volcanoes spread lava and ash across the region that intermingled with Tertiary marine sedimentary deposits from the Flood’s receding phase—post-Day 150—creating the Erzurum-Kars Plateau.2 These Paleocene through Pliocene strata allow us to work out the relative timing of the volcanism in the area.4 What is today labeled Mt. Ararat was part of a later and final pulse of volcanism, much of which sits atop the earlier volcanic rocks of the Erzurum-Kars Plateau. Most of the eruptive activity at the current Mt. Ararat was after the Flood during the ensuing Ice Age.3 It appears the Ark couldn’t have landed there since it probably didn’t exist then, at least not to any large extent.

Where did the Ark land? The Kagizman Ridge is the most likely candidate because it was formed about Day 150 and is part of a continuous mountain belt that extends for over 100 miles west of Mt. Ararat (Figure 1), making it part of the “mountains of Ararat.” The Ark probably settled on one of the higher peaks of Kagizman Ridge as the area was thrust upward. Later, receding-phase sediments and subsequent volcanic activity filled in the basins on the flanks of the ridge. Mt. Ararat likely didn’t begin to form until well after Noah had vacated the Ark.

The Ark did land in the “mountains of Ararat,” just not on Mt. Ararat itself. Simultaneous development of a high topographic ridge at just the right time and location in the Flood year demonstrates the truthfulness of God’s Word and His perfect timing. God truly remembered Noah (Genesis 8:1).


  1. Clarey, T. 2019. A Rock-Based Global Sea Level Curve. Acts & Facts. 48 (2): 9-10.
  2. Keskin, M., J. A. Pearce, and J. G. Mitchell. 1998. Volcano-stratigraphy and geochemistry of collision-related volcanism on the Erzurum-Kars Plateau, northeastern Turkey. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 85 (1-4): 355-404.
  3. Keskin, M. 2005. Domal uplift and volcanism in a collision zone without a mantle plume: Evidence from Eastern Anatolia.
  4. Keskin, M. 1994. Genesis of collision-related volcanism on the Erzurum-Kars Plateau, North eastern Turkey. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

* Dr. Clarey is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in geology from Western Michigan University.

Cite this article: Tim Clarey, Ph.D. 2019. The Ark Landed West of Mt. AraratActs & Facts. 48 (7).


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