Dutch millionaire builds Noah's Ark replica after flood dream
A Dutch millionaire has built a full-size replica of Noah's Ark after dreaming his hometown would be destroyed by a flood of biblical proportions.
Designer Johan Huibers finally opened the doors of his astonishing craft, which took over four years to build, to members of the public this week on the Merwede River, Dordrecht.
Using ancient dimensions set out in the Bible's book of Genesis, the gigantic 137m x 21m ark also features its own 'Bible museum', complete with life-size plastic animals.
'We want to tell people about God,' the Dutchman, who worked with a team of 50 employees, told AFP during construction. 'We wanted to build something that can help explain the Bible in real terms.'
He added: 'The wood is Swedish pine, because that's the closest we think to the 'resin wood' God ordered Noah to use in the Bible. The animals are plastic and come from the Philippines.'
The project stems from a dream the 52-year-old had in 1992, in which his native Holland was flooded by the North Sea.
'The next day I bought a book about Noah's Ark,' he explained. 'That night while sitting on the couch with my kids, I looked at it and said: "It's what we're going to do".'
Huibers, who claims to have been contacted by dozens of people interested in staying on board the ark, originally wanted to sail the tribute to the London for the Olympic Games.
However he was forced to abandon the plans after Dutch authorities raised health and safety concerns about the proposed voyage.