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If you have ever wondered what Noah's Ark, the ginormous boat that saved Noah, his family and two specimens of every animal genus that inhabited the earth may have looked like, you are in luck. That's because a Dutchman has created a life-size replica, with a slight modern day twist!
Johan Huibers says he was inspired to build the boat after he dreamt that his native country of Netherlands was completely flooded! The carpenter began by creating a smaller version of what he likes to call Johan's Ark in 2004.
Not surprisingly, it was an instant hit with tourists, both local and foreign. Encouraged by the success, he used the funds generated from ticket sales off the smaller version, and in 2009 recruited his two children and some friends, to build a version the same size as the one specified in the Bible.
Using the conventional belief that each cubit (the measurement unit in the Bible) is the length of a forearm - the distance from the elbow to the middle fingertip, Johan and his team ended up with an Ark that measures an impressive 427 feet (130 meters) long, 95 feet (29 meters) across and 75 feet (23 meters) high.
What's even more stunning is the detail that lies inside. Just like the real deal, Johan has built storage spaces at the bottom of the ship where food can be sealed for long periods of time. A curved upper deck is not only designed to accumulate rainwater, but also, double up as an 'exercise' track for animals like horses and big cats!
As for the animals? While the area inside is big enough to allow two real elephants to do a jig, Johan has restrained that impulse! Instead, he has populated it with plastic substitutes of the mammal and also giraffes, zebras and even buffalos - All life-size of course!
But smaller species like chickens, ponies, sheep and rabbits got luckier - They are all alive and seem to be enjoying their life inside the Ark's 'petting' zoo. Johan's Ark is also home to an array of exotic birds - All alive and chirping!
And of course, if Noah had been asked to create a ship in this era, god would have definitely wanted its 1,500 residents to have some fun. That, is probably why this Ark includes a 50-person cinema and even, a restaurant. While not the best use of space during a real emergency, they sure comes handy inside this boat, given the droves of visitors that have been flocking to see the $1.5mm USD ship since it opened its doors to visitors, earlier this month.
The only issue with this amazing replica that sits docked in a small river in Dordrecht, Netherlands? It's ability to actually sail off! That's because unlike the biblical version, this one is made from reinforced steel and weighs a whopping 3,000 tons. Still, it is pretty cool and the best news is that Johan is hoping to take it to other parts of the world too - If, he can find a bigger boat to transport it on!
Resources: news.yahoo.com, Guardian.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk