Was there really enough water to flood the earth?

Was there enough water to flood the earth? You’ve probably heard the claims.  There wasn’t enough water to flood the entire earth.  And even if there was, it couldn’t have rained fast enough.   And even if it could, it wouldn’t have drained fast enough.  So it couldn’t have happened.  It’s scientifically impossible.

Was there really enough water to flood the earth?

Not so fast.

The adjacent image isn’t real. It’s AI-generated.

It’s cloudy. Raining. There was supposed to be lightning. I guess it didn’t know what lightning was, ’cause I don’t see any.

But the point remains. Not all of that water had to come from rain.

Let’s say that an image of the top of a mountain during Noah’s time. The flood.

Did all that water come from rain? Even the Bible says no.

It could’ve come from something we learned about earlier in Genesis though. In fact, from verse 2.

The Beginning

Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

I first wrote about this eight years ago – back in 2015. The original version referenced an article in Science Magazine. It no longer seems to be available in its entirety without charge, but here’s an excerpt from it:

The water cycle involves more than just the water that circulates between the atmosphere, oceans, and surface waters. It extends deep into Earth’s interior as the oceanic crust subducts, or slides, under adjoining plates of crust and sinks into the mantle, carrying water with it. Schmandt et al. combined seismological observations beneath North America with geodynamical modeling and high-pressure and -temperature melting experiments. They conclude that the mantle transition zone— 410 to 660 km below Earth’s surface—acts as a large reservoir of water.

However, new information often comes out on this huge cache of water, so here’s a newer one that is currently available, as of Sept. 2023. Scientists Discover Massive “Ocean” Near Earth’s Core, from NDTV in India. Here’s an excerpt from them, with more info.

Scientists have discovered a reservoir of water three times the volume of all the oceans beneath the Earth’s surface, according to an international study. The water has been found between the transition zone of the Earth’s upper and lower mantle. The research team analyzed a rate diamond formed 660 meters below the Earth’s surface using techniques including Raman spectroscopy and FTIR spectrometry, ANI reported.

The study confirmed something that for a long time it was just a theory, namely that ocean water accompanies subducting slabs and thus enters the transition zone. This means that our planet’s water cycle includes the Earth’s interior.

I’m not sure just how useful large numbers like this are, but they are impressive. According to Google Bard:

The oceans contain about 1.35 billion cubic kilometers (324 million cubic miles) of water, which is about 97% of all the water on Earth. This is equivalent to around 352.67 quintillion gallons of water. That’s enough water to fill about 352,670,000,000,000,000,000 gallon-sized milk containers.

Now, if the estimates on the amount of water in this under-the-earth reservoir are correct, then triple those numbers above, and get just over 4 billion cubic kilometers (972 cubic miles) of water.

When I asked how much water it would take to flood the earth, the response was:

The Earth has enough water to flood the entire planet. If the Earth’s surface were completely flat, with no mountains or deep ocean basins, water would cover the Earth to a depth of about 8,000 feet. The Earth is 71% water, and the average depth of the ocean is 2.3 miles. 

Of course, this didn’t answer the question. Especially since there are mountains much higher than 8,000 ft. And, let’s face it, the average depth of the ocean is completely irrelevant, since the ocean is entirely, by definition, at or below sea level.

However, let’s make it interesting by going to some old physics class notes from SMU.

Now the claim is that ALL mountains on Earth were covered. That must include Everest, which is approximately 8.86 km. high. The claim is, therefore, that Earth was covered with water to a depth of 8.86 km. This amounts to a water volume of roughly 4,500,000,000 km3, which is about 3.25 times the total amount of water in the oceans today! And – the atmosphere contains only 13,000 km3. That’s tiny compared to the total.

Guess what? That 4.5 billion cubic kilometers isn’t that much above the amount estimated to be in the areas found. So far.

Where does all that extra water come from? And where does it go when the flood recedes? If you postulate that is now in the Earth, it would occupy a cube about 1,650 km. on a side. That’s just over 1,000 miles per side, or 1/8 of Earth’s radius! That would show up FAST in seismic studies, and no such reservoir has been seen.

Actually, that reservoir has since been found and now an approximate volume has been calculated. There may be more.

Another thing, trying to validate the numbers across these various sources is very difficult. Estimates of the earth’s volume and of the amount of water needed to flood the earth don’t state whether they take into account the volume of a sphere the size of the earth, or of something approximating the additional volume occupied by mountains. If the mountains aren’t included, it would reduce the amount of water needed.

Was there really enough water to flood the earth?

In any case, what was once deemed impossible, is becoming more and more possible, even with the incomplete knowledge we have.

Why update this now?

I’m doing a series over on my other site about The Beginning. When I got to the part about darkness was over the surface of the deep, I remember writing this one. Here’s part of what’s in it about “the deep”.


9333 תְּהוֹם (tehôm): n.fem. and masc.; ≡ Str 8415; TWOT 2495a—1. LN 1.17–1.25 the deep, the depths, i.e., an area below the surface of bodies of water, a dark, inaccessible, inexhaustible, and mysterious place controlled only by objects with vast powers (Ge 1:2; 7:11; 8:2; 49:25; Ex 15:5, 8; Dt 33:13; Job 28:14; 38:16, 30; 41:24[EB 32]; Ps 33:7; 36:7[EB 6]; 42:7[EB 7]; 77:17[EB 16]; 78:15; 104:6; 106:9; 107:26; 135:6; 148:7; Pr 3:20; 8:24, 27, 28; Isa 51:10; 63:13; Eze 26:19; Am 7:4; Jnh 2:6[EB 5]; Hab 3:10+), see also domain LN 81.3–81.11; 2. LN 1.69–1.78 deep springs, i.e., a body of water which comes out of the earth (Dt 8:7; Eze 31:4, 15+); 3. LN 1.17–1.25 unit: תְּהוֹם הַ־ אֶרֶץ (tehôm hǎ- ʾě·rěṣ) Sheol, formally, depths of the earth, i.e., the place where the dead reside (Ps 71:20+)  1Swanson, J. (1997). In Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? an area below the surface of bodies of water, a dark, inaccessible, inexhaustible, and mysterious place controlled only by objects with vast powers. It almost sounds like some pagan god description. That it, until we realize it says “objects with vast powers”, not beings with cast powers.

One of those objects is the source of much of the water in the flood, in Noah’s time. It’s something I think we often forget about. We remember the part about all the rain for 40 days and 40 nights. But there was something else.

The Flood

Ge 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

Notice: all the springs of the great deep burst forth. Yes, all that water wasn’t just from rain. Some came from “the deep”. So, not only is the deep a reference to objects, but those objects are under God’s control. Clearly, this is not a reference that can be in any way attached to pagan gods.

How many times have you heard or read that, in the Beginning of the Bible? And how often have you related it with The Flood?

If you’d like to check out the series (still in progress), it’s at:

In The Beginning

Lots of people recognize the words, In the beginning, as the first three words in the Bible. Or, more properly, as the first three words in the Torah. But how many people ask, which beginning?
What’s this about? Did God start the beginning twice?
We know God did a do-over of sorts with Noah and the flood. But a real restart?

Image by Bing Chat / DALL-E

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    Swanson, J. (1997). In Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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