God gave Noah the dimensions for the ark in cubits. “This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits” (Genesis 6:15).
But how long is a cubit? A cubit is an ancient measurement of length based on the distance from the elbow to the tip of the longest finger. While we can’t be certain which cubit Noah used, at the Ark Encounter decided to use a royal cubit since major construction projects in the ancient world were often based on them.
Beginning with one of the shortest common cubits of 17.5 inches, we added a handbreadth of 2.9 inches, yielding a royal cubit length of 20.4 inches. Most of the royal cubits in ancient times measured between 20.4–21.6 inches, placing our cubit on the short end of the spectrum. This makes our life-size Noah’s Ark about 510 feet long and over 50 feet tall.
The life-size Noah’s Ark is the largest timber-frame structure in the world. When you visit, you will see for yourself just how big it was, and it may leave you wondering things like, “How many semi-trailers could fit in Noah’s Ark? How much wood did we use?” Get answers in this video with Tim Chaffey.
Start planning your trip to the Ark Encounter today, and see just how big our life-size Noah’s Ark is in person!