Noah’s Ark Redux

Builder of the Lost Ark
According to the Bible, Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, thought to be in modern Turkey. Johan Huibers has made sure that the ark—or at least a true-to-life replica of it—re-emerges in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

The owner of a construction company, Huibers has spent almost four years building an ark to the specifications in Genesis—300 cubits long (450 feet); 30 cubits high (3 stories); and 50 cubits wide (75 feet)—while fireproofing it according to Dutch safety standards. The 2,970-ton boat is made of Swedish pine with a steel frame. Huibers began dreaming of constructing an ark in 1992, after his hometown, Broek op Langedijk, was lashed by a heavy storm; he first built a model a tenth of the size of the current ark. Today, his motive seems to have expanded.

“It is to tell people there is a God who loves us and has a plan for our lives,” Huibers says. “If you read the Bible, God speaks to you.” The ark will be an attraction and museum, but not a zoo. Huibers hopes to open it to the public later this year and plans to sail it to the 2012 Olympics in London.

No date for the ark’s opening has been scheduled, and only birds and fowl live in it now.