Dutch creationist Johan Huibers built a biblically correct replica of Noah’s Ark constructed to accurate measurements given in scripture. Genesis states that Noah kept seven pairs of most domesticated animals and one breeding pair of all other creatures, plus his wife, three sons and three daughters-in-law together on the boat for almost a year while the world was deluged.
Johan’s Ark is designed to be able to pass narrowly under every bridge on his planned sailing route through Netherlands’ interior waters to the country’s big cities. The massive central door in the side of Noah’s Ark was thrown open, you could say, for the first time in 4,000 years, drawing a crowd of curious pilgrims and townsfolk to behold the wonder and reality of what Noah crafted.
The replica, started in May 2005, is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That’s two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house. Still, Noah’s Ark as described in the Bible was five times larger than Johan’s Ark! Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools and with occasional help from his son Roy.
Huibers built the replica as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible. A contractor by trade, he chose to build the ark of American cedar and Norwegian pine rather than the “Gopher” wood described in scripture. Scholars still debate what Gopher wood would have been.
Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.
Exhibits on the third level show ancient tools and old-fashioned barrels, exotic stuffed animals, and a wax model of an exhausted Noah reclining on a bed in the forecastle.
A 50-seat film theater in the keel allows kids to watch the segment of the Disney film “Fantasia” that tells the story of Noah.
Exhibit designs are by Bianca, Huibers wife. Visitors are often amazed by the replica saying it’s beyond comprehension. The size of the replica is driven home when you see the life size statues of animals displayed, and the biblical arc was five times larger than this!” Huibers’ vision is to stock his ark with horses, lambs, chickens and rabbits – mostly baby animals to save space.
On the uncovered top deck , which was not quite ready in time for the opening, will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats, and one camel. Huibers says of the arc that he hopes it will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands , where church membership has fallen dramatically in the past 50 years.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be just under $1.2 million. For more information on Johan Huibers and the Ark project, see www.arkvannoach.com (site is in Dutch, with some videos in English).
Now that I am old and gray…give me the time to tell this new generation about all your mighty miracles. Psalm 71:18