# Noah and the Flood - What REALLY Happened

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wildernessposted 6 years ago

I've always been intrigued with the biblical story of Noah and the ark, so I thought I would examine what might have happened at that time.

First of all, some assumptions were necessary.  In the immortal words of Bill Cosby "I'm going to make it rain for 40 days and 40 nights and drown 'em right out!" ("Noah"). I took that as a starting point, if a little irreverent.  A rain for 40 days and 40 nights to kill all people then extent on the earth that were not on the ark.  This would require that all the earth was underwater - the highest point is Mt. Everest (29035 feet) so that much water is needed.  Given the radius of the earth at 3950 miles and Everest at 29035 feet high we can calculate an additional 1,000,000,000 cubic miles of water is necessary.  Yes, I know the earth is an oblate spheroid and Mt Everest was smaller then, and some of the addition space is actually dirt, but I did the best I could.  That volume water is just about 30 times the total volume of the world's oceans (310,000,000 cubic miles) or a little under the volume of the (ex)planet Pluto.

Rain will come down at about 363" per hour to get 29035' in 40 days and 40 nights.  Only Mt. Waialeale, Hawaii gets more than that much water in a whole year; it is not rain - it is a small waterfall!  Nobody better be on the deck of the ark.  But Noah's problems are just beginning.  That much fresh water in the oceans will decrease the salinity from about 35 parts per thousand to around 1 ppt.  All life in the oceans will die, which means Noah had better collect those animals, too.  Two blue whales, two phytoplankton (male or female?), two octopi (ever try to keep an octopus in an aquarium?).  Now two blue whales, with their life support (water) will swamp the ark - it will never leave land!  As the rain comes, it seems reasonable that all fresh water fish will be washed into the salt water, and though less salty than normal, those fish will also die.  More animals to collect.

With that much rain for so long there will be very little sunlight hitting the earth.  Temperatures will plummet to the point that perhaps the last mile will be snow, not rain.  Noah will find only snow and ice when he emerges and may have to burn much of the ark for heat.

When (if) Noah does emerge onto actual land, he will find only mud and rotting vegetation.  After that much time underwater all plant life will be dead except perhaps fresh water plants.  The only food available will be the animals on the ark (Noah's cargo!) and watercress for a full growing season.

All in all it seems MUCH more likely to be only a local phenomenon.  This brings its own problems; 99% of the evil people survive, the ark is unnecessary for animal protection, even water at 16,916' (Mt Ararat) is a great deal indeed and cannot be kept in a local area, etc.  But that's a question for another day.

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SirDentposted 6 years ago in reply to this

You did not take into account the water from uder the earth.

Gen 7:11  In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

At least try to get all the facts before you make fun of the Word of God.

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

The ogallala aquifer lies under a good sized portion of the US.  The largest such aquifer in the world, it is estimated to contain 133 million acre feet of water, or about 39 cubic miles.  If it is a mere 1% or the underground water in earth, that leaves 999,996,100 cubic miles to go.

While I do not doubt that there was a great flood in the past in Noah's general local, It is simply not possible to flood the entire earth.

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Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

today it does. that event is said to have transpired 6000 'years' ago. Observe a single tsunami event -a single instance of less than a ten meter wall of water was able to 'remove/alter/disrupt' how many other kilometers of water, land and the items on it, in literally seconds.

Additionally, a single earthquake can change/alter the entire planets stability. Site Haiti and the subsequent post quakes, storms, atmospheric conditions leading up to Iceland. Best of we actually pay attention to what is happening.

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

My post was intended to show that there is not enough water on earth, by a very large factor, to flood the entire earth.  On the other hand if we take Noah's flood to have inundated only a small area - perhaps 1000 square miles out of the 200 million available - with only a few feet of water instead of the 30,000 indicated then it might be possible.  Although, as I say, that also brings up different questions............

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SirDentposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Maybe you should take this into account also.

Think also about how many earthquake could have happened during that time. Were the mountains as high then as they are now?

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

I'm sorry, Sir Dent - I am not sure what you are trying to say.  As evidenced by the pictures you provide geological change takes a very long time. " Only" 65 million years ago (cretaceous period) the continents are pretty recognizable, just in a different place.  Noah's flood, by most reports, took place about 5000 years ago - only an eyeblink in geological time.

Certainly Mt. Everest was shorter - I mentioned that.  It is growing at about 2.4" per year; 5000 years ago it was about 12000", or about 1000' lower.  The resulting decrease in the amount of water to cover it, or the other objections I have mentioned to a world wide flood are negligible to non-existent.

The numbers are difficult to comprehend.  A billion cubic miles of additional water to hit the earth!  An entire planet of water!  Why, the change in the spin rate of the earth would be catastrophic just by itself.

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Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

i see wild.
one account writes that there was a layer of 'water' above the earth, a canopy, much like the ozone or some other layer of ice. It is stated that as the earth opened, the volcanoes erupted from the reaction and 'hit the ceiling' causing this firmament to melt. Also noted is the two-three year time line post flood, until Noah stepped off the vessel, onto dry land...

The vertical pressure alone from a simple geyser or volcanic eruption shows the ability of upward thrust on a very small scale.
combined with a tropic condition between, the ceiling and surface connection would have caused immense concentrations of water -with it, high pressure levels, exceeding present ocean pressure, to instantly fossilize anything. That pressure and volume is perhaps the only reason Noah et al survived, by being lifted high up to a thinner pressure altitude...

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Randy Godwinposted 6 years ago in reply to this

But what held the many miles thick ice up?  And how could light get through such a massive layer of ice to keep the former world from being nothing but a snowball itself?  No light, no gopherwood trees to build the ark with and no camels or other warm weather animals to save.

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Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

this has been a big question. some say it was the troposphere & tropopause combined enough pressure to sustain a thin layer of ice.
The present ozone layer is ice, so it can be a possibility.
Again, if it was an atmospheric layer itself, it either collapsed or is stratosphere leftover.

Much like a bubble layer, kept it from doing a chicken little moment. I have done that with food -created a layer between two items that actually hold for hours in a high vibrating/noisy, hot atmosphere called a kitchen. Souffle does the same thing.

Besides, a brain work here. Why would a 'post caveman' with no 'evolved' sense of science/technology, write about a complex layer of atmosphere surrounding the planet and pre-flood giants, volcanoes and dinosaurs 6000+ Gregorian Calendar years ago...weird huh?

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Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Noah was wearing an asbestos suit of course. Did his wife knit them for the other animals too? I know - the dinos were too big so they got left out..... 300 million years earlier when Noah was just a baby.

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Randy Godwinposted 6 years ago in reply to this

A thin layer of ice would not melt into enough water to cover the earth, even a few inches.  Try something else or just emulate many other of your fellow believers.  Just say god did it and don't concern yourself with a logical explanation.  There is none.

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Sorry, 21, ozone is not ice.  Ozone is 3 atoms of oxygen that have linked together rather than the "normal" 2 atoms.  It has no hydrogen and so is not water at all - it cannot be ice.

Although the atmosphere often contains ice crystals (snow, sleet, etc.) it has never supported a layer of ice nor can it.  The density of dry air at sea level is about .001g/cc; the density of ice is about .9g/cc (unless I've slipped a decimal somewhere).  In order for air to support ice, it must have a higher density than ice.  That's why snow, even spread out in a snowflake, falls instead of floating forever.

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Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Deary me 21ISM - what utter nonsense. If you had taken the trouble to read a few books - I know, I know, books are not worth reading unless they were written by religionists - or maybe chefs? - you would discover that this is all physically impossible.

Instantly fossilize huh? Sadly - the fossil records do not bear this out. I don't know - perhaps if you used longer, more meaningless words? Make sum more up wdy?

Must be scary when science does not fit with what you already know - I can understand why you attack it now. Unless it is in your micro onde.

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Randy Godwinposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Give him a break, Mark!  He's mainly the religious philosopher type.  Not too hot on basic physics though!  LOL!

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topgunjagerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

facts? ok.

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qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Wilderness:
lolol...I read long ago, that if all the land masses were flattened and inundated with all of earths "fresh" water, it would rise to a level of less than 2 inches...:-)
If Noah spent a few minutes in the gut of a fish, the powerful, acidic stomach acids would deprive him of his largest organ i.e. his skin in about 5 minutes...
There ya go...the "truth."   :-)

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brotheryochananposted 6 years ago in reply to this

i think you are referring to jonah.
Jonah 1:17   Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

notice the wording... the lord had prepared (made, created, caused to be) a great fish.. perhaps this fish had no stomach and perhaps after spitting out jonah, god, UNprepared, unmade, uncreated,  and caused not to be the fish that god specially made just for this event.

how do i know that jonah did not die in the fishes belly?
Jonah 2:1   Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,

there ya go.. the "truth'   :-) Want another truth... Know what you are talking about before you show the world what you don't know. Shudda read the story before you hubbed bub.. keep up the good work!! have many great days! Cheers.

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Paul Wingertposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Noah and the arc was based on an ancient Semaritian story about a flash flood of the Tigres River in Iraq. The story follows a merchant who built the largest cargo barge by strapping a couple smaller barges together. The Tigress River flooded and carried the merchant and his crew down the river for a couple days. The flood story in the Bible points out the common thinking of the day. The ancient Eqyptians believed that the sky was a huge canopy held up by the surounding mountain ranges. We're talking about a time when the average person was born, lived, and died within a 20 mile radius or less. They also believed that the sun died at the end of the day and was reborn every morning and that the earth was flat and was basically a platform on a great sea. Clues of these ancient beliefs can be pointed out in the bible. Also every culture around the world that lives on a body of water has their own "great flood" story. To take Noah and the arc story literally is totally rediculous. That goes along with talking snakes in the creation story.

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brotheryochananposted 6 years ago in reply to this

It wasn't a snake

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Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

if every culture around the world has its own great flood story then why would it be ridiculous to take the story of Noah and the Ark literally?  It seems to me if every culture shares a commonality then there has to be a base reason.

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brotheryochananposted 6 years ago in reply to this

We sometimes don't realize that the middle east is lower than sea level. Heres a map http://geology.com/below-sea-level/  The dead sea depression is 413 meters below sea level. 1300 feet approx. Since i do not believe that noah had deer, elk, bison or any animals from south america or the arctic, etc. in the ark and including that i do believe noah had local animals only and since i believe that "all the earth" is a idiom for "known world' which can be surmised as "local world", that indeed the rain was not that torrential to fill the areas god was working closely with 'at that time' and this would ensure the survival of salt water life. 40 days was the time God wanted to use, it wasn't the time needed to fill all the earth, he could have done that in seconds or in 80days or 120hrs.. he just wanted, needed to use 40 days and he made it rain accordingly.

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Unfortunately, the bible does not limit Noah's animal collection to only those found locally, nor to a local flood.  In addition, the ark landed on Mt. Ararat, which is a long ways from any of the low spots on your map.  In order to cover even a goodly portion of Ararat, the mediterranean would have to flood to a great depth, along with the Atlantic ocean.

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brotheryochananposted 6 years ago in reply to this

topography changes, we are talking about a flood that occured a very long time ago. Earth doesn't mean the world, it means earth.. language changes after a long time, translations are different. Nice try though.

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brotheryochananposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Genesis 8:4   And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountainS of Ararat

In the book, Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus wrote:
“     the ark rested on the top of a certain mountain in Armenia ... However, the Armenians call this place, αποβατηριον 'The Place of Descent'; for the ark being saved in that place, its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day. Now all the writers of barbarian histories make mention of this flood, and of this ark; among whom is Berosus the Chaldean. For when he is describing the circumstances of the flood, he goes on thus: "It is said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia, at the mountain of the Cordyaeans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, and use chiefly as amulets for the averting of mischiefs." Hieronymus the Egyptian also, who wrote the Phoenician Antiquities, and Mnaseas, and a great many more, make mention of the same. Nay, Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a particular relation about them; where he speaks thus: "There is a great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris, upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the Deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved. This might be the man about whom Moses the legislator of the Jews wrote." (I.3.5-6, trans. William Whiston)

The "Mountains of Ararat" in Genesis clearly refer to a general region, not a specific mountain. Biblical Ararat corresponds to Assyrian Urartu (and Persian Arminya) the name of the kingdom which at the time controlled the Lake Van region, which in later centuries, beginning with Herodotus, came to be known as Armenia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountains_of_Ararat)

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Cagsilposted 6 years ago

Nicely done. Makes for a great laugh.

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alternate poetposted 6 years ago

Most peoples have ancient 'myths' about a flood, from the original inhabitants of America who talk of being told to go to the highest mountains and watching the flood pass across the land beneath them, I believe India has the same, and the middle east the one we know.

Understanding myths is a science but even if we see them as metaphors we cannot discount the possibility of them being racial memories of real events.

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

At some time or another, most of the earth's surface has been under water as evidenced by fossils of sea creatures.  Even in the short time since man came around a good deal of the surface has seen water, if only during a few days during a great flood.  The draining of the great lake in Utah through the snake river area and the formation of the New York harbor are such examples.  One day it will happen again when Niagara Falls reaches Lake Erie

Such floods are not metaphors and are often contained in a racial memory.  But a world wide flood to kill every man on earth?  No.

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qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

TY Wilderness for a moment of
logical, well reasoned thought!

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

And ty, qwark, for the compliment.  I would take a bow but would probably fall off my chair and ruin the effect!

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alternate poetposted 6 years ago in reply to this

You are only talking about what we know happened locally, I am not saying that there was a worldwide flood - just that it is not impossible.  Also there is the issue that only certain parts of the world had humans for many thousands of years, then local flooding would be the world for them?  There is speculation that the kind of flood you are talking about made the mediterannian sea and most recorded human activity was in that area at that time.  The issue is not if it did - but could it have happened, and if so we cannot discount the po9ssibility of it being kept in the racial memories through oral stories across many thousands of years.  There is  more out there that we don't know than we know.

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

The mediterannean flood you reference was on the order of 5 million years ago.  The Australopithecus named "Lucy" would not be born until nearly 2 million years later and I guarantee neither she nor her ancestors built the ark!  Nor am I aware of any great flood in the last few thousand years (Noah's time frame) that might fit the bill.

That does not in any way mean that there was definitely not a great flood that destroyed many people.  Certainly whole villages or even tribes.  On the other hand since homo sapiens has been able to pass down information through successive generations they have been far too spread out to have suffered genocide from a flood.  Certainly there may have been times when mankind was localized enough to be decimated by a flood, but not for many, many millenia before they could build boats and had language skills to provide the racial memory you speak of.  Their local "world" is all that could be destroyed, and that is not what the story of Noah reports.

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earnestshubposted 6 years ago

Stories get exaggerated over time, and there has been a lot of time.
The truth is probably that Noah saw a T Rex and wet himself.

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

You may be right, Earnest!  If I saw a T Rex coming at me I might produce enough to "drown 'em right out myself".

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earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Yep! Not very friendly with other smaller edible animals!

Ever seen how a crocodile looks at you? That's when you know it is not about reason!

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brotheryochananposted 6 years ago in reply to this

so you believe that noah produced enough pee to flood the world.. now i know why you cant believe the bible, the bible makes more sense than that theory.     Nice to see ya round earnest keep up the good humor ol buddy. check my post up top before you leave, don't think i mentioned a t rex though.

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Chasukposted 6 years ago

@wilderness: Are you trying to say that you find a global deluge and the near extermination of humankind unlikely?

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

I would not use the term "unlikely" to describe the biblical story of Noah's flood.  The importation to earth and subsequent remove of 1,000,000,000 cubic miles of water,  the instaneous spread of all animals (including man) after the flood; no, "impossible" more nearly describes it.  According to the story, not one land animal, including man, had a sufficient genetic base to survive extinction after the flood, yet here we are!

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Rishy Richposted 6 years ago

Wow...Awesome post. Gud job wilderness

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earnestshubposted 6 years ago

So I guess he's still running the weather then!

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brotheryochananposted 6 years ago in reply to this

When it suits him to alter weather, God does.

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Randy Godwinposted 6 years ago in reply to this

So why didn't he just kill all of the humans like he did at Sodom and Gomorrah and avoid going through the whole "build the ark and collect the animals from all over the world" thing?  Did god learn something by the flood thing and decided to just kill the sinners at S&G?  Why kill all of the other animals, were they sinful too?

And where did all of the water go?  Giant sponge?  Didn't god know he would have to kill everyone long before creating them?  If not, this seems to make him out as not thinking ahead about creating man in the first place.

Nope, never happened!  Too much of a stretch for any logical person to believe.  Besides this was supposed to have happened only 6 or 7 thousand years ago.  Apparently god forgot to drown the native Americans as they have been here for over 13,000 years.

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earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Or the native Australians, with 40,000 years of known habitation.

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earnestshubposted 6 years ago

I thought for the modern christian concept to work, the planet has to be only 6 thousand years old?

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SirDentposted 6 years ago in reply to this

I have no idea how old the earth is. It could be millions or even billions of years old, according to our time standards. It could also be only a few thousand years old.

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earnestshubposted 6 years ago

Lawrence Krauss can tell you to the minute!

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SirDentposted 6 years ago in reply to this

The age of the earth has been discussed for years and years. The figures have changed dramatically over the last few decades.

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earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Yes they have SirDent.

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SirDentposted 6 years ago in reply to this

I just googled Lawrence Krauss and there are a lot of sites about him. Maybe I will read one soon. it is after midnight here and I am too tired to read anything longwinded.

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earnestshubposted 6 years ago

It all took place in a local area. Noah's bath tub!

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brianzenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

The lions ate the unicorns!

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Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Brian! long time. Looks like you got a haircut.

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contentposted 6 years ago

I think the story is a metaphor for ancient aliens who came down and collected all of the DNA of every animal species and stored the DNA in some sort of "arc" - like structure.  Just think, Quazza and even some woolly mammoth DNA could be stored somewhere in some hidden ancient high tech vault (there is evidence the woolly mammoths were around as late as 7,000 years ago).

That's my story and I may or may not stick to it.

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wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Or all that water might just wash you right off of it.

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