Although his predictions failed and the Rapture did not occur, a real life Ark, almost as long as Noah's, is close to completion at Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Johan Huibers, the builder of the Ark, is a self-employed Dutch creationist who believed that life, the Earth and the Universe are the creation of a supernatural being. Prior to this, he built a scaled-down version of the original dimensions laid down in the book of Genesis containing a coffee shop, an exhibition area and a play area.
So, what was his inspiration behind the construction of the Ark? Why did he devote his entire life to building a replica of the Biblical Noah's Ark?
When asked, Huibers mentions that the idea of building an Ark struck him around 19 years ago in 1992 while once watching the hammering of the waves against the local dike of the coastal region where he lives during a storm. The same week, he came across a book about Noah's Ark by Dutch artist Rien Poortvliet. It was while reading this book that he made his decisions.
Following the completion of his first project, he started working on the second which is a full-sized replica of the original. The Ark, which is slated to be completed by the middle of July, has already been invited to in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics and also to visit other locations in Europe.
The New York Times reported that Huibers had to conform to Dutch fire safety standards. To do so, he installed a special anchor that qualifies the 2,970-ton ark as a building, rather than a vessel. Moreover, he will have to paint the ark, inside and out, with three coats of fire-retardant varnish.
Upon the completion of the Ark, it will be used as a kind of teaching tool in order to bring the story of Noah to life.