THE Great Flood that featured in the story of Noah's Ark may well have happened, according to Robert Ballard, the man who found the wreck of Titanic.
They believe the sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland until it was flooded.
Mr Ballard said: "We went in there to look for the flood. Not just a slow, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed. The land that went under stayed under."
Although they did not find the Ark, they found an ancient shoreline which Mr Ballard believes is proof such an event did occur. He said it most likely took place around 5,000BC.
"It probably was a bad day," he said. "At some magic moment it broke through and flooded this place, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometres of land, went under."
Meanwhile, a full-scale 'replica' of Noah's Ark has opened its doors to the public in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
Stormy weather could do nothing to dampen the good mood of its creator, Dutchman Johan Huibers. In fact, the rain was appropriate.
Mr Huibers interpreted the description in the Book of Genesis to build his ark, which is 427ft long, 95ft wide and 75ft high.
The ark has received permission to welcome up to 3,000 visitors a day.