Comparative Charts

Big Ark
Someone sent me a link to a lesson manual containing a fascinating and useful comparative chart that illustrates the size of Noah’s Ark in relation to other vessels. While I had always wondered how much bigger the Ark was than an Icebreaker or a Portuguese Man-of-War, it still left me wanting to know more. I did a little bit more scholarly research and I came up with my own chart that offers additional useful comparisons.

EDIT: I’ve added a second comparison chart for people interested in Noah going toe-to-toe with Darth Vader.

Bookmark Comparative Charts


  1. I can’t wait to see this incorporated into a lesson. Fantastic!

  2. :)

  3. Without a comparison to Bella’s truck this chart will always be incomplete to true morminess

  4. So there was actually room for two Balrogs on the ark.

  5. True — and there was actually room for two humpback whales on a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, but only if you reconfigure the entire cargo bay using transparent aluminum.

  6. MikeInWeHo says:

    Your stuff here is always so cool, John.

  7. Moniker Challenged says:

    A thing of beauty is a joy forever *eyes mist*

  8. Kevin Barney says:

    I would totally use this in a lesson. Pure awesomeness, as always.

  9. Coffinberry says:

    Me gusta.

  10. Obviously, no room for two Godzilla’s, so no wonder he’s always ticked off. The inclusion of a gunstar ship from The Last Starfighter is especially poignant for me. Truly sublime, John.

  11. I AM using this in my lesson. Awesome.

  12. 9 — Gojira can swim.

    This is quite cool.

  13. Are there two Godzillas? Being semi-aquatic, Godzilla presumably wouldn’t need to be on the ark and may well be representative of the antediluvian detritus of creation that God was eliminating with the flood. I include Godzilla here because he is potentially a hazard to shipping, and he appears almost exactly the right size relative to the ark to appear in a Genesis movie.

    Glad you love the gunstar, Kevinf. That’s an interesting sized starship, not quite a fighter, not really a light destroyer. The Last Starfighter was beautifully designed — the ships and really the whole movie still hold up after all these years and improvements in CGI.

  14. J. Nelson-Seawright says:

    What’s the rationale for including the LDS temple, though? Presumably, it’s not a hazard to shipping.

  15. Actually, given the need for special accommodations, there wasn’t room for balrogs on the ark, which explains a lot.

  16. Aaron Brown says:

    I’m sorry, but I’ve seen Empire, and I just don’t believe the AT-AT walker is to scale. And if you’re capable of this sort of error, John, what other errors are there lurking in your chart? Once I’ve jettisoned Hamerish infallibility, why should I take anything Hamer says seriously?

  17. Gunstar 1! They’re fighting evil… in another dimension!

  18. There are three items in John’s chart that have actually existed in an operational form. Can you guess which three?

  19. 13: We don’t necessarily know the details of the coming destruction of the world by fire. If, like the destruction by water, it will be necessary to preserve animal species, and if the Ark is precisely the correct size to preserve all that need saving, the chart illustrates how many micro-temples are necessary to accomplish the same goal.

    15: ATATs are surprisingly small. asserts they are 15.5 meters in height, which is probably too small. I’ve made this one a bit bigger to jive with what we’re seeing in Empire Strikes Back. But recall there that you are seeing ATATs shown against individual humans and very tiny airships (snow speeders). Consider the ATAT against the Imperial Shuttle in Return of the Jedi — you’ll be surprised at how tiny it is.

  20. Oh, man, I wish I were still teaching Gospel Doctrine. Great job, John. ..bruce..

  21. Liz Rehbock says:

    Just remember that Genesis was translated from the Greek by 70 Hellenized Judaic scholars who were influenced by the Greek myths that included a lot of fables about animals.

  22. Brilliant!
    @Clay — I’m going to say 747, Temple, and Black Pearl.

  23. This is not only awesome, but actually very helpful.

  24. Aaron Brown says:

    Silence, Liz (21)!!!

    You are threatening my testimony of God-as-genocidal-miracle-worker-and-stuffer-of-large-animals-in-tiny-spaces.

  25. I dunno, John. I’ve always preferred to be ambitious with my Ark fantasies. I would have gone for an Imperial Star Destroyer at the least, or maybe one of those big-#$% ships from V. You’re thinking a bit small, bro…..

  26. Kathryn Lynard Soper says:

    I thought size didn’t matter.

  27. Aaron Brown says:

    that’s a myth, Kathy. Like organic evolution.

  28. Kathryn Lynard Soper says:

    Then my ancestors are being humiliated.

  29. I’ve added a second chart for the size queens among us.

  30. geez this is awesome

  31. John, I heart you and your charts.

    Interestingly, it looks like Noah could go toe to toe with princess leia and the rebel blockade runner…she’s kind of a badass, though, so I don’t think he could take her.

  32. If I remember correctly, from what I heard about John Hammer’s Star Trek maps, one should never question his sense of scale.

    If the Balrogs are willing to temporarily quench their flames and restrict overall violent movements, then I’m not sure other special accommodations would be a problem. Then again, if they were willing to do these things, they would not be Balrogs. It’s a shame that they will have to die in the Flood.

  33. Dan, it’s not the flames that are the problem — as one of the Maiar a Balrog would be able to control itself in such a way. Rather, I suspect that Yahweh would have an issue in preserving one of the lesser Ainur, perhaps as a way of showing Eru Ilúvatar who’s boss.

  34. Interesting TV show on Noah’s Arc – they interviewed actual wooden ship builders who pointed out that a wooden ship of this size would break up in any kind of seas. But if you can believe in Noah’s Arc in the first place, I guess a little realism can be safely ignored.

  35. Eru Ilúvatar

    If no one minds, I’m going to pronounce that last word as ‘elevator’ …

  36. John,

    Can I borrow the cubits-to-metric chart you used to create this? I’m trying to reconstruct the Arc of the Covenant in my back yard–you know, so as to melt peoples’ faces who trespass–and I can’t seem to get the dimensions quite right.

  37. By Arc, of course, I mean Ark. Huked on phoonics werked fer me!

  38. Jimbob (36-37): I just went directly from the LDS manual which gives an Ark length of 450 feet. Working backwards that yields the standard foot to cubit conversion of 1 cubit = 1.5 feet.

    Therefore, I suggest you make your Ark of the Covenant 2.25 ft x 3.75 ft x 2.25 ft. If it doesn’t work, address your complaints to the LDS Correlation Committee.

    (Just remember when you bury it and are making a 6 kadan tall staff to mark its location, don’t forget to take back 1 kadan to honor the Hebrew God whose ark this is.)

  39. You are all missing the most important question: Do Balrogs have wings?

  40. So how does the Tower of Babel compare to all this?

  41. Thanks for these comparison charts, John. They are a wonder to behold!

  42. John, I hope these are picked up for the next edition of the OT Sunday School Manual. These are the most helpful charts I’ve seen making Noah’s Ark a reality. Bless you.

  43. Kaimi, that is such a Khazad-dûm question.

  44. Wow. I revel in the geekery.

  45. Crap, I actually forgot that Balrogs have wings.

    That could mean that they count as “birds of the air” and Noah was instructed to have “seven each of birds of the air, male and female” – there’s just no way to accomodate all the Balrogs and maintain the finish on the gopherwood.

  46. Gopherwood, Everett?

  47. This post–and quite a few of the comments–are full of win.

  48. Can’t stop laughing!

  49. This is awesome. I would have paid attention to this lesson.

  50. John:

    And you didn’t crosspost this at Saint’s Herald?

  51. John, you should expand this a tad and submit it to Sunstone for an article.

  52. John, these are great! : )

  53. How big was the death star?

  54. Actually I’m kind of curious about that death star question. The death star would be much more massive than all of these things, right? Otherwise where do you park the Imperial Star Destroyers …

  55. Depending on the sources you consult, the diameter of the original Death Star would have been 75x the length of the Star Destroyer pictured. The Return of Jedi Death Star is supposedly bigger and would be 100x the length of the Star Destroyer or more.

  56. As an old TNG trekkie, I’d personally like to see the 1701-D Starship Enterprise on there, but great charts nonetheless.

  57. How AWESOME is this?!!

  58. Love it.

    And is your chart, dear John, that has landed me with yet another subscription in my Reader. I came, I laughed…

    …I read…and read…I added.

    P.S. This post was made all the richer for having been handed the first chart you reproduced (stock standard) in today’s GP lesson.

  59. Nyuck! nyuck! nyuck! Very creative Brother John. I have to say though, I am thoroughly confused now as to the actual size of the Ark. Not sure who else has seen this but my mom sent it to me in an email. Ever heard of Johan’s Ark? That thing blew my mind. It’s only approximately half the length of the original ark.

    Any ways, thanks for the laugh.

  60. I’m teaching this lesson to the 15 year olds today. They’ll get a kick out of this!


  61. John Wilson says:

    I would love to see a CG of the ark along side a large aircraft carrier.

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