Not many people read the story of Noah’s Ark and think to themselves, “I could do that” but evidently that’s exactly what happened to Johan Huibers. The Dutchman read the story of Noah’s Ark to his children at bedtime one night.
Suddenly was inspired to build an ark of his very own.
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When he first relayed this idea to his wife she was unsurprisingly hesitant.
One can only imagine the thoughts and questions that would have gone through Mrs. Huibers’ mind at that point. Perhaps she began to question some decisions she had made throughout her life.
Ultimately, she just quipped to him that the family would “go on a vacation to the moon” if he actually completed this project.
Well, Johan finished the ark and his family did not, in fact, take a vacation to the moon.
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Johan’s Ark version 1.
Johan actually finished his first version of an ark back in 2006. That version was only half as big as the one Noah built, however.
Following the completion of his first ark, Johan was motivated to build a full-sized version just like the one from the story.
Johan’s nightmares about floods.
The Dutchman’s desire to build an ark was also spurred on by nightmares he’d had. According to the family, when Johan was 24 years old he’d had nightmares about major floods occurring in Holland.
Starting to build an ark.
Johan began by looking at the building schematics found in the Old Testament. He was also helped in his efforts by several amateur carpenters who had heard about his first ark and were interested in helping build the full-size version.
The Huibers and their assistants got to work building the mighty ship. By the time of its completion, the project had cost the family $1.6 million.
“We’re not professional boatmakers. A lot of stuff here is a bit crooked,” Huiber later said.
An impressive ship is built.
The ship was built using a steel frame. American cedar and pine wood were also used on the project. The ship stands about 75-feet tall, or roughly the size of a 5-story building. It is 95 feet wide and 410 feet long. It weighs 2500 tons.
That’s pretty big, but we are not entirely sure it is still big enough to fit two of every animal on the planet. There are a lot of animals on the planet, and some are pretty big. If you want to forego animals and just have people on the ship, however, Huiber estimates it can hold more than 5000 of them at one time.
Ark becomes a tourist attraction.
In Dordrecht, Netherlands, the ark became something of a tourist attraction after it was completed. The town and Huiber family would later end up in a disagreement, however, and the tourist site was shut down.
Huiber had considered the idea of sailing the ark to Brazil for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. That plan ultimately never came to fruition, though. He then had the idea to sail it to Israel but wildfires in the country prevented him from doing that as well.
Huiber is still hoping to take the boat to Israel.
Since it has no motor (Noah’s didn’t either), he requires the use of tugboats to pull it. The price tag for the trip is estimated at about $1.3 million. He’s looking for donations to help make it happen.
Learn more about this life-size version of Noah’s Ark in the video below.
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