Johan Huibers, a wealthy Dutch building contractor, had a dream that Holland would be flooded by the North Sea so he decided to construct a 450-foot seaworthy replica of Noah’s ark following the the biblical measurements set forth in the Book of Genesis.
It was no easy task to build the craft. It took Huibers about four years to complete it–and some modern technology was necessary to get the job done, CNN reports:
Huibers and his team built the boat by welding together the metal hulls of 25 barges into a single frame, which was then covered with Scandinavian pine. Weighing about 3,000 tons, the boat contains sleeping quarters, a theater, restaurant and conference facilities to seat 1,500 people..
The bible indicates that the original ark was built with “gopher wood,” but since religious scholars apparently disagree as to what that is, Huibers improvised.
The structure is now functioning as bible museum “to help explain the bible in real terms” and is filed a menagerie of “life-sized plastic animals and an aviary of live birds.” The ark is docked in the the Netherlands town of Dordrecht and is open to the public.
Deborah Venema-Huibers, manager of the ark, also told SkyNews that they have been contacted by lots of people worried about the world coming an end in December 2012 based on the Mayan calendar. Venema-Huibers has had to break the news to them that “This is not a rescue boat. It’s a museum.”