How Did the People and Animals Leave the Ark?

When considering Noah’s Ark, people often wonder how Noah was able to fit thousands of animals on board. But have you ever wondered how the people and animals left the Ark? The Bible simply declares that Noah, his family, and the animals went out of the Ark, but it does not give the details.

The most natural exit for the Ark would have been the door built into the side of the Ark.

The most natural exit for the Ark would have been the door built into the side of the Ark (Genesis 6:16). Some people have objected to the door as a possibility since the Bible states that the Lord shut them in. This thinking has led people to propose two other options.

Genesis 8:13 reveals that Noah removed the covering of the Ark. Could they have exited via the top of the ship, assuming the covering was at the top? While this would work fine for the flying creatures on board, it would be a logistical nightmare for the larger land animals. Also, we are not sure what the covering of the Ark was—the word only appears in this verse.

Still others have supposed that Noah had constructed some sort of tool that could cut through the Ark’s hull.

Door of the Ark

In this Ark Encounter model, Noah’s family and the animals would have gone up a ramp to enter the Ark through the door. Did they exit the same way?

Nothing in the text rules out the door as the exit. The interior of the Ark was designed for the entering of animals to reach their enclosures from the door, so it makes sense that they could simply leave the way they entered. If the door was on the second floor, as will be depicted at our Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky, an interior ramp could have been repurposed for external use.

While we may not know the location of the Ark’s exit, we do know that Noah, his family, and the animals safely left the Ark, just as Scripture states.

Help us build a full-scale Noah’s Ark! AiG is raising $29.5 million in donations for a wooden Ark, the centerpiece (and part of the first phase) of the whole multi-attraction complex! A finished Ark will be a great testimony to the historicity of the Bible and will proclaim the gospel. For an explanation of the funding of the entire Ark Encounter, go to

Ark Updates—Watch videos and view photos of the buzz of activity currently going on at the Ark Encounter construction site south of Cincinnati by going to


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