Man uses Bi­ble in­struc­tions to build own Noah’s Ark

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By toby ster­ling

DOR­DRECHT, NETHER­laNDs — Just as the first storms of win­ter roll in, Dutch­man Jo­han Huibers has fin­ished his 20-year quest to build a full-scale, func­tion­ing model of Noah’s Ark — an un­der­tak­ing of, well, bi­b­li­cal pro­por­tions.

Huibers, a Chris­tian, used books 6-9 of Ge­n­e­sis as his in­spi­ra­tion, fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions God gives Noah down to the last cu­bit.

Trans­lat­ing to mod­ern mea­sure­ments, Huibers came up with a ves­sel that works out to a whop­ping 427 feet long, 95 feet across and 75 feet high. Per­haps not big enough to fit ev­ery species on Earth, two by two, as de­scribed in the Bi­ble, but plenty of space, for in­stance, for a pair ele­phants to dance a tango.

Jo­han’s ark tow­ers across the flat Dutch land­scape and is eas­ily vis­i­ble from a nearby high­way where it lies moored in the city of Dor­drecht, just south of Rot­ter­dam.

Gaz­ing across the ark’s main hold, a huge space of stalls sup­ported by a for­est of pine trees, vis­i­tors gaze upon an ar­ray of stuffed and plas­tic ani- mals, such as buf­falo, ze­bra, go­ril­las, lions, tigers, bears, you name it. Else­where on the ark is a pet­ting zoo with ac­tual live an­i­mals that are less dan­ger­ous or eas­ier to care for — such as ponies, dogs, sheep, and rab­bits — and an im­pres­sive aviary of ex­otic birds.

Jo­han’s ark also con­tains a restau­rant on the top­most level and a movie the­ater ca­pa­ble of seat­ing 50 peo­ple. Around the edges of each level of the craft are dis­plays on an­cient Mid­dle East­ern his­tory and dress, scenes from the life of Noah, and games for kids.

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