It’s been nearly three decades since Johan Huibers was inspired to build an ark. The Dutchman was reading “Noah’s Ark” to his children as a bedtime story when he had the brilliant idea to construct his own.
His wife was not convinced by his proposal after he told her. Instead, she joked that if he finished it, their family would “go on a vacation to the moon.” Despite her joking, Huibers went ahead with his idea, and his first version of the ark was completed in 2006, according to Bored Panda.
According to Euro News, Huibers’ decision to create the ark was influenced by a nightmare he had about huge floods in the Netherlands. Huibers claims that he began dreaming about the floods when he was 24 years old. That’s when he decided to start working on a plan to create his own Ark. He began with the schematics for the structures based on the Old Testament. Huibers, however, was dissatisfied because it was “only half the size of the one in the Bible,” and he was determined to go much further.
Johan Huibers began building a life-size version of Noah’s Ark in 2008, with the help of amateur carpenters. In 2012, it was completed and opened to the public. The construction of the Biblical boat cost nearly $1.6 million. “We’re not professional boatmakers,” Huibers later admitted. “A lot of stuff here is a bit crooked.”
It’s difficult not to be astonished by the ship’s size and intricate details. Wooden animal models, including gorillas, elephants, and rhinos, are used in the Ark, just as they are in the Bible. The life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark was once a popular tourist attraction in Dordrecht, but it has since been closed to the public due to a dispute between Huibers and town officials.
Regardless, the ship is extremely well-designed. It was constructed with a steel frame and American cedar and pine wood. The Ark is 75 feet tall and about the size of a five-story house. The other measurements are 95 feet wide by 410 feet high, with a weight of 2,500 tons. The ark can also accommodate more than 5,000 people at once, which is far more than a two-by-two configuration.
Huiber had considered sailing the Ark to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games. Ultimately, though, the plan did not come to fruition. He then had the idea to sail it to Israel, but he was unable to do so due to wildfires in the region.
Despite this, Huibers has not given up hope of bringing his Ark to Israel. He’ll need tugboats to get the ark to its destination because it doesn’t have an engine, which means the journey would cost $1.3 million. He is now seeking donations to help him in making the trip a reality.
In the video below, learn more about this life-size replica of Noah’s Ark.