Almost everyone knows the story of Noah's ark and how Noah took two of every animal onboard the giant ship to save them from the great flood. While the story of the ark is pretty clear, nobody is sure exactly what the ark looked liked.
For years, experts have said that the ark was long and pointed at the bow, but an ancient tablet that was recently deciphered, shows that the ark may have been shaped much differently.
The tablet is believed to be over 4,000 years old and was found in Mesopotamia. The tablet shows the plans to build a giant, rounded ship called a coracle. It also says that animals should enter the ark two by two.
The tablet is on display at the British Museum and was translated by Irving Finkel, the museum's assistant keeper of the Middle East. Engineers at the museum plan to create a prototype of the ark by following the instructions on the tablet.
"It was really a heart-stopping moment -- the discovery that the boat was to be a round boat," said Finkel. "That was a real surprise."
This doesn't mean the actual ark had to be round. Most cultures will depict boats the way they know them to be. Coracles were common in Mesopotamia, so it's natural that the culture would depict the ark as being a round coracle.
We may never know what the real Noah's ark looked like, unless the giant ship is ever found. Until then, engineers will continue to experiment with different ark shapes, sizes and designs to rule out which ones are logical and which ones are not.
Do you think the real Noah's ark will ever be found and what do you think it was shaped like?
Image via Wikimedia Commons.