According to Abrahamic religions, Noah's Ark was a vessel built at God's command to save Noah, his family, and a core stock of the world's animals from the Great Flood. The story is contained in the book of Genesis and in the Qur'an.
The story told in Genesis has been subject to extensive elaborations in the various Abrahamic traditions, mingling theoretical solutions to practical problems (e.g. how Noah might have disposed of animal waste) with allegorical interpretations (e.g. the Ark as a precursor of the Church, offering salvation to mankind).
By the 19th century, the growth of geology and biogeography as sciences meant that few natural historians felt able to justify a literal interpretation of the Ark story, and biblical critics were turning their attention to its secular origins and purposes. Nevertheless, Biblical literalists today continue to take the Ark as test-case for their understanding of the Bible, and to explore the region of the mountains of Ararat in modern-day Turkey where Genesis says Noah's Ark came to rest.
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