There is a flood coming, so you put most of the earth's life in a large vessel
. When the flood finally hits, you and your animal passengers are safe from the flood while aboard the ark that you were able to build.
The Trope Namer
and Trope Codifier
would be the story of Noah from The Bible
, who was told by God to build an ark in order to preserve his family and two of every single animal in order to be protected from the flood.
Not to be confused with Noah's Arc
Anime and Manga
- In Spriggan, it's depicted to be created by an ancient race as an out-of-place artifact which not only carried dinosaurs and mythical creatures, it's also used as a weather control device that can bring about drastic changes to the Earth's weather, including the threat of global flooding.
- In the first season of Dragon Ball GT, Bulma just happens to have one of these tucked away beneath the Capsule Corporation in order to evacuate everyone to the new planet created by Baby with the Blackstar balls.
- Considering the number of times Earth has been nearly (or actually) destroyed in this franchise, that might be more Justified than it sounds.
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the Arc-Gurren is used to house the population of Kamina City in space when the moon is on a collision course with earth.
- Nero: In the story "The Ark Of Nero" Nero builds an ark and even has lots of animals imported to bring along with him. Everyone says he's crazy, but as it turns out the tide does come. In the end it was All Just a Dream.
- Evan Almighty, the 2007 sequel to 2003's Bruce Almighty, had the title character from the former assume the role of Noah when God informs him to make an ark because of an incoming flood.
- The underground refuge in Deep Impact, designed to ensure continuity of the species in the face of an impending extinction-force impact, is called the Arc.
- In 2012, there are great disasters all around the world, particularly a giant flood. The small portion of the populace try to escape this fate by building giant arks in the Himalayas. In one shot, some animals are brought in such as giraffes and elephants. One of the protagonists is a young boy named Noah.
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Dr. Totenkopf believed that Earth was doomed due to the destructive nature of humanity, so he built a rocket ship to carry two of every animal on Earth (and genetically engineered humans) to another planet. He intended them to create a technological utopia there.
- Ice Age: The Meltdown: All the herds head for a giant log that would serve as a boat when the flood waters come.
- Moonraker: Drax created his space station to hold the humans who would repopulate the Earth after the deadly spores killed everyone on the surface. When the two leads see that their space shuttle is carrying a cargo of men and women.
- Is one of the episodes in the 1936 Warner Bros. . film The Green Pastures, which retold The Bible from the perspective of a poor African-American child.
- Fantasia 2000 has a segment where Donald Duck is a deckhand on Noah's ark responsible for getting the animals onboard, including two non-anthropomorphic ducks.
- The Clive Cussler novel Arctic Drift Features the villains attempt to cause the End of the World as We Know It and survive in four megaships to found a Master Race.
- In Discworld, there's an Urban Legend about the founding of Ankh-Morpork that tells how a wise man foretold a Great Flood, gathered his family and hundreds of animals into a big ship, and rode it out. After a few weeks' sailing, the accumulated wastes from all the animals were filling up the vessel, so they tipped all the manure over the side, and built a city on the resulting dung-island.
- Utnapishtim from The Epic of Gilgamesh is the Ur Example and Trope Maker, pre-dating Noah's story from The Bible. Similarly to his biblical counterpart, he built a giant ship called The Preserver of Life to save his family, friends and all the animals from a flood. He was granted immortality afterwards.
- Parodied in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The main characters are teleported to Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B. Which seems like a Ark, but is actually a trick to get its inhabitants off the planet.
- Joked about in Holes. The kids see a cloud in the sky, the first they've ever seen in this arid desert, and start joking about how they need to start building an ark. It's all just to get their hopes up, as Camp Green Lake hasn't had rain for a hundred years.
- When Worlds Collide (Literature and Film versions): a pair of rogue planets are on a direct path to hit Earth. Scientists and governments rush to make a pair of rocket ships to hold the best of the best (and supplies) to send to another planet so humanity won't be extinguished.
- A scammer-slash-crazy guy used this and built an ark in CSI NY once. He offered rides, made off with the victims' money, and was found dead inside the ark with his animals.
- Boner's Ark, a gag-a-day strip about Captain Boner and the various animals on his ark. (Noah had it easy - Boner's ark was on the sea for 32 years, only reaching dry land in the final strip.)
- Just a Pilgrim: the role of the ark is taken by a space shuttle containing genetic sequences of thousands of animals so life can be started elsewhere, as the planet is now under the control of sentient mind-controlling jellyfish.
- In Jules Feiffer's satirical "The Deluge," an installment of his Feiffer comic strip for the Village Voice, an angel instructs U.S. civil servant Harvey Noah to build an ark. Instead of doing so himself, he takes the matter to his supervisor. This starts a bureaucratic chain of events which culminates in the ark housing only selected members of Congress. As it starts to rain, Harvey attempts to board the vessel, only to be told he's not on the list.
- In a The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode spoofing Y2K, after Homer's blunder destroys all electronics on Earth the US govenerment sends two rockets off: one with the best of the best (Lisa is invited) and one which Homer & Bart sneak on to which is aimed directly at the sun.
- There was at least one Animaniacs sketch called "Noah's Lark" that went like this. Buster and Babs walked up and stated they were no relation, so Noah let them on, along with the Hip Hippos.
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