After more than three years working, the Dutch businessman and creationist Johan Huibers has built an exact replica of Noah’s Ark which is now open to the public at Merwede canal in the Dutch town of Dordrecht.
It all started when in 1992 when Huibers had a dream that the low-lying Netherlands was flooded by the North Sea. The next day, he went to a bookstore and bought a book about Noah’s ark. Huibers decided to build the ark to inspire children with the biblical story of how Noah and the inhabitants of his ark survived the flood that, according to the Old Testament, washed the world clean of sin.
The construction was done exactly like it was described in the Bible, building a boat with dimensions 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high (140x23x14 meters approximately). The only difference from that described in the Old Testament is that the replica has been built with Swedish pine instead of cypress.
By welding together the metal hulls of 25 barges, Huibers and his team built a vessel that weights about 3000 tonnes and has which has sleeping quarters, a theater with 50 seats showing the Disney movie “Fantasia” that tells the story of Noah’s Ark, a restaurant and several conference rooms for up to 1500 people. In addition, the boat is full of plastic animals and birds to give more realism.
One of the Huibers dreams was to experience the brand new boat sailing down the Thames river in the London Olympics to share his message with sports fans, however it was impossible because the boat does not have the necessary modern standards in terms of Passenger safety concerns.
The Johan’s wife and the manager of the boat, Deborah Venema-Huibers, says that the replica has opened its doors as a museum and, despite being constantly contacted by people concerned about the end of the world as well as people interested in booking rooms on the boat, she always responds that there is enough security on board to treat the boat not only as a museum but also a rescue boat.
It is worth to mention that this is not the first construction of the Dutchman; in 2005 he completed his first replica of Noah’s Ark at half scale and used it to take tourists for trips in the canal.