Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What happened to the unicorns

In the August 2010 issue of National Geographic, they discuss an archeological discovery on page 29:

"Now a recently translated Babylonian tablet, related to the Epic of Gilgamesh, floats an intriguing alternative in which the archetypal ark was round and made of pitch-covered reeds, much like a coracle, a craft still used today on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. 'The ark wasn't going anywhere,' explains Irving Finkel, assistant keeper of cuneiform at the British Museum, who did the translation. 'It simply had to bob along the surface until the waters went down.'"

I'll leave aside the question of the structural integrity of a reed boat when scaled up to ark size. However, though you can't really fault him for being a landlubber, a quick thought experiment demonstrates that this ark is entirely unworkable:

You are in a round ark during a global flood. There are no landmasses to dissipate the force of a storm. The only thing which would stop a hurricane from growing and growing is veering towards the colder waters of the poles. So you pretty much have massive hurricanes all the time in southerly climes. Massive, spinning, hurricanes. You are in a round ark which cannot maintain its orientation. In short order, you are an ark-sized tilt-a-whirl.

So yes, it is an intriguing alternative, in that you get to imagine what a few months in a tilt-a-whirl would do. I theorize that the unicorns died of seasickness.


Post a Comment

<< Home