The biblical account of the parting of the Red Sea has inspired and mystified people for millennia. A new computer modeling study by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) shows how the movement of wind as described in the book of Exodus could have parted the waters.
The computer simulations show that a strong east wind, blowing overnight, could have pushed water back at a bend where an ancient river is believed to have merged with a coastal lagoon along the Mediterranean Sea. With the water pushed back into both waterways, a land bridge would have opened at the bend, enabling people to walk across exposed mud flats to safety. As soon as the wind died down, the waters would have rushed back in.
The physics of a land bridge. This illustration shows how a strong wind from the east could push back waters from two ancient basins--a lagoon (left) and a river (right)--to create a temporary land bridge. New research suggests that such a physical process could have led to a parting of waters similar to the description in the biblical account of the Red Sea. (Illustration by Nicolle Rager Fuller. This image is freely available for media use. Please credit Nicolle Rager Fuller.)
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