A Dutch Christian organization has announced plans to sail a replica of Noah’s Ark across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving in Brazil in time for the summer Olympics.
It took Dutch millionaire contractor Johan Huibers one and a half years and $4 million to build the ark according to the dimensions of the original as detailed in the Bible. His recreation is five stories tall, can hold more than 5,000 people, weighs roughly 2,500 tons, and measures 95 feet wide, 410 feet long and 75 feet tall. As impressive as this sounds, it is half the size of the original, which was, in Biblical terms, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. It varies from the original in that it was constructed from American cedar and pine instead of the Biblical gopher wood, and is wrapped around a steel frame standing on a steel barge. Similar to the original ark, Huibers’ creation does not have a motor, propeller, or sails. It will be towed 5,200 miles to Brazil behind another vessel and the voyage will cost $1.5 million.
Huibers said he felt compelled to build the ark after dreaming his province of Nood-Holland in the Netherlands was destroyed in a flood
“In 1992 I had a dream about the Netherlands being underwater [due to] a flood,” Huibers, 57, told Fox News. “A short time after, I saw a book and I read it to my children. It showed pictures of the Great Flood. I said then that I want to build the ark. Thirteen years later, I had the means and time to do it.”
The ark is a popular tourist site at its present location in Dordrecht, Netherlands, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors since it was completed in 2012. It is hoped that it will continue to draw crowds in South America. Time is running out and the project is still underfunded. Its first port of call will Fortaleza, Brazil, where is may remain docked for as long as four years. After that, there are plans to visit Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia before coming to the west coast of the United States.