Where Did Noah and His Ark Actually Land? An Alternative Conjecture

The well-known alternate researcher Graham Hancock often states,

“Well over 200 cultures worldwide have been found to have preserved accounts of such a Deluge.”

I don’t know how anyone knows about 200 or more, but I know of quite a few deluge myths myself, including Babylonian and Mayan, and I wouldn’t doubt that there are several score at the very least least.  Hancock points out several. As I understand it, most are in cultures that had fairly small contact with the outside world, and they are spread out around in corners of the world where it seems doubtful that they learned such histories from others.

From Here

At the same time, the one we are most familiar with is Noah, and it is considered by scholars to have been taken from the Babylonians during the Babylonian captivity.  That attribution may or may not be true, and I am sure the scholars have lots of arguments on their side.  At the same time, historian types accept that “everybody’s got an opinion, and nobody’s is necessarily true,” so let’s throw something new into the mix, something I came up with that may or not be “necessarily true” but which might have a seed of truth in it.

First let’s start out with that 200 plus deluge story and consider that maybe even WITH the Babylonian captivity, the Jews DID have their own story before they went to Babylon.  The Babylonians certainly had one from a very early time, but if we tentatively accept that such a deluge happened, then it would be odd that the Babylonians had a universal flood along with 200 other cultures, but that somehow the Jews in the Levant did not.  It is only about 875 kilometers as the crow flies from Jerusalem to Babylon, after all.  That is nothing compared to the 12,000 km from Babylon to California where some deluge stories existed in cultures which were not captured by the Babylonians.

Let’s Get On With This

Okay, so I’ve run across reasons to consider that maybe the Jews did have a deluge, along with many other cultures.  I am about as un-religious as anyone can be right now, so I almost have to apologize for perhaps agreeing with the Fundamentalists.

Now, given the location of the Levant, the likeliest source of a deluge is not the Dead Sea nor the Red Sea, and certainly is not the Black Sea or the Arabian Sea. The likeliest source would be the Mediterranean, which is right at their doorstep.

And if the “fountains of the deep” has any meaning at all, in terms of a great deluge, it certainly does not mean “underground sources”, as the New English Bible suggests.  The International Standard Version phrases it as, “The water sources from the ocean depths”, and I would agree.  (It is interesting to see the different phrasings in various translations, telling us that there is a lot of flexibility in how translations can be phrased.)

So, if we take that and try to run with it, we get a deluge coming from the west, and its natural flood direction would be to the east, yes?

The Dead Sea

The first suggestion that this might be correct is the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth, and which is extremely salty – hypersaline is the correct term.  It is what is called an endorheic lake – a lake without an outlet.  If the Mediterranean had, in fact, somehow risen up and flooded eastward, one obvious effect would be to dump salt water into the closed basin that includes the Dead Sea.  And when the waters abated, what would happen to the salt water there?  It would get more and more salty – which just happens to be what we DO see.

The Harrats in Saudi Arabia

Along that route of possible Mediterranean flood waters, past Israel and where a Mediterranean flood might carry a rudderless vessel, down in west central Saudi Arabia’s volcanic zone, there also happen to be Harrat Lunayyir, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Ma’tan, and Harrat Muzayyin, all somewhat close to the Holy city of Medina in western Arabia.  They are listed here in order of proximity to Israel. These are all lava fields with the designation “Harrat“.    The elevations at these lava fields are much more flood-friendly, being below 1,100 meters. Compared to 5,137 meters, 1,100 meters makes for a much more palatable flood.

Online I could not find a specific meaning for “harrat“, so the rest of this will be a little more speculative than I’d like it.  The transliterated spelling of harrat is, I believe, HARRT.

Mount Ararat

Genesis 8:2 tells us that that Ark of Noah came to ground on the mountains of Ararat, or ON Mt Ararat (Genesis 8:4), depending on which of those flexible translations we attend to.  The Hebrew term is אֲרָרָֽט.  Transliterated, that is ARRT.

Image result for mount ararat

Mount Ararat, in eastern Turkey, close to the Armenian border

I have trouble with the story at this point.  We have a vessel that was floating on top of these monstrous waters for 150 days (Genesis 8:3), captained by some dude named Noah who we have not been told has any nautical experience at all. The vessel is not known to have any steering.  He is not in possession of a compass, as far as we are told (and compasses were invented in China much later).  The waters were supposed to have been 15 cubits higher than any mountain.

So, as far as we are told, this Noah had no way of knowing where he was.  Still, when he alights from his vessel, this mountain that he landed on somehow has a name, even though all of the destruction we ARE told about is supposed to have occurred.  Questions arise:

  1. Did the mountain have a signpost on it?
  2. Were there people standing there to tell them its name?
  3. If so, how did those people survive being under at least 15 cubits of water all that time?
  4. Why would a flood from the Mediterranean Sea flow to the north?

(Now, Lake Van which is southwest of Mt Ararat is a saline lake, so that would be consistent with a salt water flood near Mt Ararat.  Lake Van is an endorheic lake – it has no outlet to the sea or to another lake – such as the Dead Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Aral Sea.

Among my objections is that if Ararat was to become flooded, it seems much more likely to come from either the Caspian Sea or the Black Sea – which it is between. It is 310 km from the Black Sea, 425 km from the Caspian, and 780 km from the Mediterranean.  Arguing against the Caspian, however, is that it is ALSO – like the Dead Sea – below Sea level.  To flood to the top of Mt Ararat (elevation 5137 m / 16853 ft) it would first need to fill up a lot just to get up to sea level.

That elevation of Mt Ararat also makes it a very difficult sell for a global flood to overtop it.

The Harrat lava fields are much lower altitudes, which makes them much more likely to have been flooded if there was a general, global flood.


So, linguistically, we have HARRT and ARRT – Harrats and Mt Ararat.  Neither Arabic nor Hebrew originally had vowels, with the exception of Alef and Iod – A and I.  H’s in Arabic include at least three different H’s – a soft H (similar to the GH in Greek), a medium H, and a hard H (like the German hard H).  And if I am not mistaken, there is even a VERY hard H in Arabic.  Hebrew is not much different.  The two languages have many, many commonalities, having been derived from the same language somewhere early in history.

I am not definitively stating that instead of ARRT the original term used was HARRT, but I am strongly suggesting it.


In my searches I found the term “lahar”, which I’d heard before, and its root appears to be close enough that I thought there would be a connection there, too. In looking it “lahar”, everywhere I looked a lahar was labeled a mud flow, as opposed to a lava flow.  The word itself was designated to have come from the Javanese.  A lahar is said to be a mud flow resulting from water saturation – essentially a mud avalanche.  Taking one peek at the tem in Javanese, however – the supposed source of the term – when I plugged it into Goggle Translator, what came up?  Lava, and only lava.  GT would list other translations if they showed up anywhere in its database.  So, lahar means LAVA.  Well and good for this idea.  Funny that Wikipedia only mentions lahar as mud flows, even though Wiki points to Javanese as the source of the word.

Especially interesting is that Java is the second largest of the Indonesian islands and that Indonesia – and especially Java – is a Muslim country, the most populous Muslim country in the world, in fact.  So, a tie-in with some Arabic term could be considered not unexpected (if such a tie-in is real).  The website AboutWorldLanguages.com has this on its Javanese page:

The vocabulary of Javanese has been enriched by numerous borrowings from other languages. One of the earliest sources of borrowing was Sanskrit from which an estimated 25% of the vocabulary in Old Javanese literature was derived. Today, many Sanskrit words are still in use, particularly in formal speech and writing. Javanese has also borrowed words from Arabic, Dutch, and Malay. Most Arabic loanwords have to do with Islam.

So, is it possible that HARRT and ARRT and lahar all come from the same root, meaning lava?  It seems possible, though I ran out of options in my search.  The har root (however it is spelled exactly) seems certainly tied to lava.  And lava is VERY easily identified.

Tentative Conclusions

So, in a fairly short time, I’ve found both geographic and linguistic possibilities for an alternative Ark landing location.  The information (I won’t call it evidence at this point) suggests the following is possible:

  • If there was a global flood, whatever the cause, that it was experienced by many cultures
  • One of those cultures was certainly Babylonian, but possibly also the earliest Jews, or pre-Jews (Abraham, the founder, was certainly from the Babylonian captivity times, but Noah, if real, was dated before Abraham).
  • Whoever Noah was, if real, it is highly unlikely that he would know, on sight, the name of a very tall mountain 1,000 km away to the NE
  • After some global flood there certainly would not have been signposts declaring the mountain as Ararat
  • After such a global flood, and underneath the waters the Ark was floating on, the idea of people being there to point out the name is ludicrous.
  • So, how could a NAMED hill or mountain be known by people who floated there from 1000 km away?
  • It is much more likely that the name used was a descriptive term for the TYPE of land that the intrepid Noah found, such as HARRT – a lava field.  “Look, guys! It’s lava!  We landed on a lava field!  A harrat! We should write that down!  Okay? Let’s record it as ARRT.”
  • I put out the suggestion that the term was slightly mistranslated early on, and others have simply accepted that ARRT – Ararat – name, but erroneously.
  • Which Harrat?  Harrat Lunayyir is closest, but actually quite close to the Red Sea, which would complicate mattrers of a vessel floating from upby theMediterranean Sea.  Harrat Khaybar is a close second, distance-wise, and is much more inland.  The other two are about 50 km farther from Jerusalem, and would suffice, probably, but I would suggest Harrat Kahybar.

Which would make it Noah, with an Ark, in the Harrat Khaybar.  That is my final answer. . . LOL


One question that could be asked – and some have – is WHY would there be any such flooding?  That I am addressing at the present time, and I’ve found a startling quantity of evidence, which I have not reached the end of yet.  New info comes in every week.  It is some of this evidence that made me look in western Saudi on a lark, to see if there was perhaps some geographical feature that was perhaps confused with the Ararat up in Turkey.  I wasn’t expecting any, but wasn’t surprised when the Harrats showed up.  I was looking for mountains with some name close to Ararat.  And in fact the Harrats showed up almost exactly where my other evidence suggested I look.

Does that man this is true, this post?  Who knows?  But I think it stands a fairly good chance, when all is said and done.  I am an engineer, and I don’t do silly.  I think the many deluge accounts strongly suggest that some such event happened IN THE TIME OF MAN and that it was a bottleneck event.  It seems logical, given the number of unanswered questions very early in our history.  It seems to me that the present paradigm fails and is in need of replacement.

A population bottleneck is an event that drastically reduces the size of a population. The bottleneck may be caused by various events, such as an environmental disaster, the hunting of a species to the point of extinction, or habitat destruction that results in the deaths of organisms. The population bottleneck produces a decrease in the gene pool of the population because many alleles, or gene variants, that were present in the original population are lost. Due to the event, the remaining population has a very low level of genetic diversity, which means that the population as a whole has few genetic characteristics. [From Nature Magazine]


9 responses to “Where Did Noah and His Ark Actually Land? An Alternative Conjecture

  1. Steve; Velly intellesting It makes reasonable sense but settled science is anything but reasonable.

  2. “One question that could be asked – and some have – is WHY would there be any such flooding? ”

    The comet that hit North America, caused the Younger Dryas, and threw a lot of water into the atmosphere?

    Or, floods are so common that almost all cultures have a memory of one that they exaggerate and make into myth.

    • James, a large enough impactor at a low angle could possibly case a lithospheric shift. What is large enough? That could be calculated, I think.

      Velikovsky in Earth In Upheaval suggested that a pole shift would cause the ocean’s inertia to effectively become a mega tsunami, with the land moving under the oceans instead of vice versa. That would be a nearly worldwide deluge, if it occurred. Is it possible? I think physics rules, and I think that IF a pole shift could be made to occur, the near-worldwide mega tsunami would be an automatic result. The question is the size and velocity of an impactor, and the angle of impact.

      A resultant crater? Good question there.

      I know of no internal earth system forces that could apply an unbalanced force even remotely powerful enough. So imho eíther an ompactor didit or nothing.

      One Mayan myth certainly ties impacts with a deluge story. It mentioned falling stars killing people, along with a flood of the Petén. It also stated that the Milky Way moved.

      • I wasn’t thinking so much of a shift in Earth. I was thinking simply that a comet impact in the North American ice sheets might vaporize enough ice and inject it high into the atmosphere where water and water vapor might spread over a lot of Northern Hemisphere. Eventually it falls back to Earth in enormous rains.

        The timeline of this is pretty good too when you think about it. It is old enough not to have impacted the young civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia but recent enough to survive in the myths of those people.

        • James, I tend to think proportionally – like, is that sufficient to do what we are asking it do? No amount of rain is sufficient to the deluge as it is told in any of the accounts in the various cultures. IMHO.

          Then, when we read of “…the fountains of the deep” rising up, what does that mean? Even some of the biblical scholars’ translations put it in terms of the ocean. So I tend to think in terms of what could make the ocean rise up. And that of course brings up tsunamis. With no great tsunamis since 1555, there was long an underappreciation of what harm tsunamis could do. So my own thoughts go in that direction.

          • I think the accounts are probably exaggerated.

            The Laurentide ice sheet was 4 km thick at glacial maximum and probably more than a mile thick around 14K bp. Potentially a lot of water and water vapor if struck at a thick part. And there might not even be a crater to show for it if its energy dissipated in the ice.

          • James, you are going in the right direction with your thinking.

            I have to say that the numbers floating around about the LIS’ thickness are all over the map. The 4km is one of the high numbers. I did a pretty thorough search on Google Scholar, and honestly, there is no consensus. The best estimate I can come up with is in the 2 km range but only at the maximum ice location. This location seems to be near Hudson Bay and somewhere to the east of the bay. NO TWO RESEARCH GROUPS agree on this entirely. They don’t agree on that, and they don’t even agree on the outlines of the LIS. The impression, after looking at quite a few, is that they have their general understanding that is shared by all, but after that, the details are all varying.

            One thing we can agree on is that the LIS was on land, as opposed to an ice shelf. The only real analog we have is Antarctica. Greenland could be, except Canada is flat and Greenland is anything BUT flat. Greenland is an irregular ring of mountains containing a very thick inner ice field and ringed by alpine type glaciers. There are only a few outlets from the inner ice field and the ourter alpine glaciers. That is FAR different from eastern and central Canada which are basically flat and quite low slope.

            So, when we look at Antarctica where it is flat and has edges to the ice, the one thing we do NOT see is thick ice at the edges. Literally the place on land that have ice edges, the ice tapers down to a foot or even LESS. This is as opposed to the edges at the water’s edge. In Eastern Antarctica where this occurs, there is ice a few hundred meters high – but it breaks off as it cantilevers out over the ocean. That is to be expected, because 8/9ths of icebergs are under water. The water simply supports the ice differently than land does. So, as the ice leaves the shore, it wants to drop down – A LOT. This puts a bending stress on it, and it breaks off. They call it calving, and that happens at the ends where there are Antarctic glaciers, too. But glaciers and ice sheets are not quite the same things. Still, when the cantilever out over the water, the break. Not so where the ice terminates on land. Google it and look for edges on land. There is a lot of thinness to the ice sheets. Don’t pay attention to the places where alpine glaciers stream down – it’s a different animal.

            So, after talking about all that, what could the thickness have been in or around Michigan, where Michael Davias points to as the likely impact site? At the LLGM – the Last Glacial Maximum – the ice reached all the way down to the Ohio River, more or less. I agree with you that by the YDB the ice had retreated northward a lot.

            But I will make the point that the southern edge at the Ohio or the southern edge at Michigan, it would be pretty much the same. It is the edge because it is melting away, which means that the climate at the edge has a good deal of above freezing weather. This weather reaches northward to some extent, over the edge and above the ice. How far does this extend? Good question. 1 mile? 25 miles? 50 miles? 100 miles? 200 miles? Where the warmer weather exists, the ice is going to thin, and the taper is going to extend SOME distance into the ice sheet.

            How much? If we look at Antarctica where the ice ends on land, this taper starts at a few feet thickness at the edge (in some places only inches thick right at the edge). The taper extends at least a few miles. That is the effect the milder weather has.

            What I am saying is that those drawings and paintings we have been exposed to that show a massive wall of ice overlooking tundra regions (called periglacial) are probably fiction. It would have been more like Iceland and its periglacial areas – which abut quite thin ice regions and even quite thin glacier terminations.

            And where was the impact and where was the edge? Nobody knows for sure. In the Allerod interstadial which ended at the YDB the temps spiked upward, but not quite as warm as in the Holocene. As the ice melted back – after 22,000 ya – it was mostly retreating until the YDB at 12,800 ya. But the retreating stopped for 1300 years after the YDB. Did it advance? I haven’t seen anything that asserts that it unequivocally did advance, but I think it may have. But with even a pause, where was the pause, geographically?

            There is a line known as the Mason-Quimby line which crosses the Lower Peninsula of Michigan just north of Saginaw Bay. South of that mammoths and other now extinct animal bones have been found. North of it no. This strongly suggests that Saginaw Bay – Davias’ site – would NOT have been iced over at the time of the YDB. If you are interested, google Mason-Quimby line. There is not much on it out there, but some.

            I think that somehow the ice WAS at Saginaw Bay, but I am on thin ice there (pun intended). If there was NO ice there, then there is no excuse for there not being a crater somewhere, right? So, in lieu of a crater, we need ice.

            After reading a lot, at the most I’d put the thickness at 200-400 meters thick at Saginaw or wherever the impactor hit the ice. That is still a LOT – maybe 650 to 1300 feet of ice.

            I was sorely disappointed that the glaciologists all are making LIS maps that are similar but with significant differences. There seems to be no consensus past “It was thick and covered a lot of area.” And amazingly many articles about the LIS don’t go into even the maximum thickness, much less thicknesses elsewhere. I spent quite some time on this and was disappointed in what is out there. It’s not very solid info, whatever they say. That was my conclusion.

            BTW, one interesting thing I ran across was that what is called the Canadian Shield seems to be a really close matchup with the southern edge of the LIS at about the time of the YDB. Perhaps it is a coincidence. I think there is some tie in.

      • One other thinking. My memory could be faulty about this.

        But I think there is layer of black in North America at the boundary of this possible event. Many have attributed the boundary to fire, but I think I read that others believe it to be dead vegetation possibly as a result of plant life becoming submerged.

  3. Another question that begs asking is : Who told Noah to build the Ark and gather the animals and family? Was it “GOD” or the “Watchers” or some other entity??

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