The popular story of Noah’s Ark is well known, no matter what your religion is. There is a flood of epic proportions, a man who is deemed to be insane, and of course, a mating pair of every animal in existence.
The tale of Noah’s Ark is one of the most famous Biblical stories, and rightfully so. It’s a story filled with adventure and danger, and as all good stories go, a moral lesson at the end for us to learn something from. Everyone knows how the story of Noah and his Ark goes! What if I told you that someone built a real-life ark? Just like the one in the story of Noah in the Bible?
How it Began
Back in the early ’90s, a Dutch carpenter man named Johan Huibers had a dream. In this dream, he saw a great flood, just like the one in the story of Noah’s Ark. The flood destroyed the Netherlands, where he lived.
In 2004, Johan built an ark from Swedish pine trees. Although It was only about half the size of the one depicted in the Bible, he’d use the proceeds collected from Tourists to create an even better, bigger ark. The Ark he built back in 2004 took him about three years to build and set him back over a million dollars.
Building Noah’s Ark
In the bible story of Noah’s Ark, God commands Noah to build a gigantic boat that is 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. And that’s exactly what Johan was going to build, an exact replica of the biblical ark. Johan’s new ark was opened to the public in 2012. It cost about 1.6 million dollars to make and is 95 feet wide, 410 feet long, weighs 2,500 tons, and can fit over 5,000 people inside of it at one time!
Although Johan admits his boat is not perfect, it is rather difficult not to be in complete awe of how beautiful it is. Not to mention its massive size and all the detailing. Johan’s replica ark features animals made of wood, including elephants, rhinos, and even gorillas and giraffes!
The bigger and better ark quickly became a popular tourist destination, and Johan says its purpose is being met; ‘The people in the Netherlands have to be reached by the Gospel. That is the aim of the “Ark.” In the past, most people went to church and heard the Word on Sundays. Now they don’t go to church anymore, so to reach them, God uses other means.’
Unfortunately, the epic Noah’s Ark replica, based in Johan’s hometown of Dordrecht, Netherlands, was shut down. Nobody is allowed to visit the awesome boat, thanks to disagreements between Johan and town officials. Due to safety reasons, Johan’s hope of sailing his gigantic boat to the 2016 Rio Olympics was also put on hold and never happened. This hasn’t stopped Johan from wanting to sail his Ark, as he plans to sail it to Isreal!
Noah’s Ark To Set Sail
Johan is currently looking for donations so that he can sail the ark to Israel. However, the Ark has no motor and will require rented tug boats to get it there, not to mention the mountainous 1.3 million dollars cost. “The preferred destination for the Ark is Israel. This is a copy of God’s ship. It only makes sense to take it to God’s land.”
A Message From Johan’s Noah’s Ark
While Johan obviously had a religious reason for building the ark, there is still an important message to be received by all, regardless of which god they follow. “And I point out, at the same time, that it’s clear to all that things are not going well with society today. Things need to change, just as in the days of Noah.”
- “How should we interpret the Genesis flood account?” Biologos
- “Life-size Noah’s Ark replica draws tourists in Netherlands.” Today. Scott Stump. March 28, 2014.
- “Dutch Man Built A $1.6 Million Ark With A Stunning Interior.” Bored Panda. Neringa Utaraitė. 2019.