Carpenter Spends Twenty Years To Build Huge Life-Sized Replica Of Noah’s Ark
Sep 27, 2019 by apost team
The Bible is full of so many incredible stories. One of them is the story of Noah's Ark, in which Noah builds a large boat and transports animals of all kinds during a colossal flood in his homeland.
The story is incredibly impressive, especially to people in today's society, as it's unlikely they could conceive of such a thing happening. Well, that is unless you're Johan Huibers of the Netherlands. A carpenter with a passion, Huibers felt compelled to build his own version of Noah's Ark.
Huibers got the idea to build his own interpretation of Noah's Ark after reading a bedtime story to his children back in 1993. At first, his wife, who is a police officer thought it was very unlikely her husband would go through with it. Huibers later told Jewish Telegraph Agency: "She told the kids that after I finished building my ark, we can all go on vacation to the moon." We don't blame her for thinking it was an impossibility!
But Huibers didn't give up on his vision and by 2006 he'd completed his first ark. At 70 meters (230 feet) long and 10 meters (33 feet) wide, Huibers' first iteration was smaller than his latest behemoth, but nonetheless, it was an important stepping stone.
Huibers then set off on building his second version of the ark. Taking eight workers four years to complete, the new version was unveiled in 2013 and is 124 meters (407 feet) long, 22 meters (72 feet) high and weighs 2,500 tons. All in all, it cost $1.5 million to make.
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The impressive vessel is carried on a hidden floating platform made up of steel barges that were once used to carry cargo containers. However, the barges are designed to be towed or pushed on inland waterways and are not suitable for rough seas on their own. Comprised of wood that totals the equivalent of 12,000 trees, although Noah's Ark is made from gopher wood, Johan's Ark is made from American Cedar and Pine.
But not only did Huibers make the vessel look realistic he also wanted to put some animals on there too. Instead of bringing on live animals as Noah had done, Huibers added life-size wooden animals to give the same effect. Based in the town of Dordrecht, Holland, i's become somewhat of a tourist attraction since Huibers completed it, as he opened it up to the public as a Biblical museum in Krimpen aan de Ijssel, just east of Rotterdam. He told JTA:
"I wanted children to come here and feel the texture of the wood, see the nails and see that what is written in the book is true.
"It's meant to educate, a reminder that our world is changing, will continue to change, as we see now because of global warming, rising sea levels, fires."
But not only is the huge vessel an amazing reimagining of one of the Bible's great stories as well as a museum it's also a fully functioning barge that's even traveled to other locations. Huibers has taken Johan's Ark around the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway and even Britain.
He even had plans to take Johan's Ark to Israel, but due to wildfires in the Middle East, his plans were put on hold. In preparation for that trip, Huibers would need to raise a good amount of money from donations to fund the trip. As a dedicated Christian who has read the Bible from one end to the other, Huibers wants to take his copy of the ark to the land from which it originated.
However, there is another problem than just finances — the ark doesn't have any motors or sails. To make the journey, he needs to hire tugboats to push it along and he estimates it's going to take at least $1.3 million to do that. Johan told a reporter that he wants to visit Israel because he loves the land, the country, and the people. He told JTA:
"This is a copy of God's ship. It only makes sense to take it to God's land."
But Israel isn't the only far-off place the carpenter had plans to take his ark. Back in 2016, he wanted to take it to Brazil in time for the Olympics that year, but that trip fell through in the end too.
Unfortunately, while the ark had enjoyed being a museum for some time, it's also now currently closed for that purpose too, after disagreements with the local council regarding safety regulations. But that doesn't take away from what Huibers has already achieved. He built the ark to show people that God actually exists. He wanted to give kids the chance to see and feel the ark. And he also wanted to show people that things in the world are changing.
What do you think of Johan Huibers' creation, Johan's Ark? What about his plans to sail to Israel? Pass this on to those you know so they can learn of his story too!