noah's ark lions

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These depictions of Noah’s Ark are accidentally gay—and people are here for it

Two lions?


Siobhan Ball

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 13, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 10:39 am CDT

You might know Anthony Oliveira from “My Drag Brunch with Loki,” the Steven Universe comic where the gang all goes to Pride, or his viral response to the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Oliveira is also a biblical scholar, and he recently noticed an unfortunate continuity error in most of the depictions of Noah’s Ark: two male lions.

It started while he was prepping for his weekly podcast on Paradise Lost. This week, the podcast is covering the flood, and he pointed out it was a little disturbing how Noah’s Ark is the story we tell children, given how grim it is underneath all the cute animals and rainbows.

This led to him noticing that the artist didn’t seem to have a firm grasp on lion anatomy, or perhaps wasn’t entirely clear where little lions came from. Not only that, but this seems to be a common failing among people producing pictures and toys of the Ark aimed at children.

It’s not limited to lions, either.

The tweets set off an anatomical debate among his followers.

And there were some fairly creative responses.

Oliveira also noted some attempts at, as he put it, overcorrection. You won’t get baby lions with two males but you also won’t get them from a tiger. God told Noah to take two of each animal to repopulate the earth—not to breed a liger.

Amongst the delight, there were also some outraged Christians trying to condemn him or save his soul.

But Anthony pointed out that the biblical story of Noah is fairly obscene all by itself.

In the end, it seems the story of Noah’s Ark has always been queer as heck.


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*First Published: Jun 13, 2019, 3:18 pm CDT