Scientists reconstruct Red Sea parting

Wednesday 22nd Sep 2010 by theWeather Club

Researchers at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have produced a computer simulation that demonstrates how the parting of the Red Sea described in the Book of Exodus could have been caused by strong winds.

The study, which is part of a larger project looking into the impact of winds on water depths, was published in the open-access journal Plos One. In it, researchers produced a reconstruction of the likely geography of the Nile Delta during the Old Testament period, which has changed considerably over the intervening centuries. The researchers have identified a stretch of the Nile where a strong east wind could conceivably have pushed the river back at a bend, opening up a walkway across the exposed mud flats and allowing the Israelites to flee the approaching Egyptians.

"The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus," Carl Drews of the NCAR told the BBC. "The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that's in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in."

With the burning bush also potentially linked to freak environmental conditions, it remains to be seen how much else of the bible story can be explained by meteorology.