One day, the Dutch construction millionaire Johan Huibers had a dream. In his dream his beloved Holland was flooded again.
Yes, again. Because Huibers is a Creationist, and thus his dream flood would be the second time the Netherlands was entirely underwater, the first being the Biblical flood.
A normal person would wake up from such a dream, grumble about yesterday’s chili giving them a tough night, and move on.
You’ve probably gathered by now that Mr. Huibers is not a normal person. Instead, he became inspired to build his own ark, and it is now open to the public in the Netherlands:
The boat tries to stay true to the measurements depicted in Genesis: 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high, with one cubit being the length of a forearm. The boat is a total of 450 feet (around 140 meters) in length:
The boat was constructed by welding the metal hulls of several old barges together and then using Scandinavian pine for the skin.
The Bible says Noah used ‘gopher wood’ when he built the original, but scholars disagree on what that is, so Mr Huibers used ‘creative licence’, both with the material and the design.
I’m going to hazard a guess that desert dwelling old men in the Iron Age had rather limited access to welding material, so I’d agree with Mr. Huibers that some creative licence was indeed taken. He has filled his ark with inanimate model animals, though of course if he actually tried two of every animal he’d encounter a few problems.
It looks like the ark is able to attract insanity even beyond that of Biblical literalism:
Mrs Huibers says they are being contacted by dozens of people worried about the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world in December this year.
“They are concerned, and they ask: ‘Is there a flood coming again? Is the world going to be destroyed again? Can we stay here and board, and can we book a room?’”
Of course Mrs. Huibers kindly told them they have nothing to worry about, that this was simply a silly conspiracy theory and that the world would not be ending, right?
“But of course we tell them, the real safety is not here. This is not a rescue boat. It’s a museum.”
This post is interrupted while the author finds ice for her forehead. And a new desk.