Most Christians know what the Bible says about the flood in the days of Noah. They may not know specifics, but many know that Noah and his family got off the Ark on Mount Ararat, which is believed to have been somewhere in Turkey. They know that God gave the rainbow as a sign that He would never again judge the earth with water. What many do not consider is what a post-diluvian world would have looked like. This article will discuss a layman’s view of what world Noah saw when he stepped off the ark.
From the time Noah and his family got on the ark to the time they got off, a year and two months passed. That’s a long time and a lot of things can change in that time frame, even under normal circumstances. However, the flood was far from normal. The catastrophic nature of the flood would have had massive, far-reaching consequences that could have continued for hundreds of years in its wake.
The flood began with the break up of the fountains of the great deep. This hurled water and rock into the air, some of it likely reaching space. To do this, the earth’s crust had to be rent apart in multiple places, effectively splitting the earth. This would have had multiple effects, but two would have carried directly into the aftermath of the flood. The first is volcanic activity and the second would have been earthquakes.
Earths crust would have been very unstable after the flood as tectonic plates settled into something resembling their current positions. This would have caused plenty of gaps in earth’s crust for magma to flow into. As the pressurized magma rushed to fill the gaps, it would have wound its way towards the surface, eventually erupting as it found an outlet. This would have been especially true in Southeast Asia around the ring of fire, but would also have occurred in other places. As the cooled magma built up around the vent site, the mountains would have gotten taller. The next eruption would have added more igneous rock to the mountain, increasing its height and width further. Since these eruptions would have been regular events, it would not have been hard to have volcanoes reach the heights they are today.
A contributing factor to the volcanic activity would have been the frequency of earthquakes. As the tectonic plates slid into position, they would have collided, likely frequently. This would have caused frequent earthquakes, and also opened new pathways for magma to reach the surface. These quakes would have occurred across the globe as the new world stabilized.
Furthermore, now Noah and his family had to deal with water in a meaningful way. Flood runoff from higher elevations would have been a major concern. Much of this run-off water would have pooled in deep valleys, forming massive lakes. However, when the water either overflowed the banks of its lake, or broke through a weak spot, massive local flooding would have occurred as all the water in these sea-sized lakes rapidly drained away. It is believed the Grand Canyon was cut as a result of one such event. These floods would have wiped out all human life for miles, leaving a devastated trail in their wake. The runoff was not the only concern. As earthquakes churned the sea, massive tidal waves would have crashed ashore along affected coastlines, wiping out villages and towns. As if that was not enough bad news, rainstorms also became a very real threat, leading to the new possibility of flash flooding.
However, natural disasters were not all Noah and his family had to deal with. The land had been stripped of vegetation and had just begun to grow back. There would have been no full grown trees. Any wood that was available would have been scattered and of uncertain quality at best. Growing crops would have been difficult in the waterlogged soil. The animals now had a fear of man so using them to cultivate the land required domesticating them first and they were now a danger if encountered in the wild. As Noah found out, natural processes moved at different rates with the much decreased pressurized layer of ozone in the atmosphere.
The post-diluvian world would have been a forbidding place. Natural disasters would always have been a concern, particularly earthquakes and flood runoff. The threat of a marauding dinosaur or a particularly bold lion would also have been in play. Cultivation would have been difficult. God’s judgment had been just and swift. The results of the judgment would have served as a reminder to humanity that God could again judge them for their sin. However, this still would not prevent them from rebelling against Him at the tower of Babel.