If you've ever read the famous Bible story, it's likely you've wanted to look inside Noah's ark. The boat that saved every animal on earth from the flood and saved the world is one of the holy text's most enduring images, so it's no surprise it's something we're still curious about to this day! But one carpenter from the Netherlands actually decided to make this dream a reality!
Johan Huibers managed to undertake what seemed an impossible task, and recreate a giant replica of Noah's famous boat. But it was no small task - after four years with eight workers, Huibers revealed to the world his ark, which is 407 feet long, 72 feet high, and weighs 2,500 tons. It's a true feat of engineering and looks totally incredible.
Huibers was inspired to build the ark after reading the story to his children way back in 1993. Understandably, his wife was rather skeptical, to begin with. She even joked, "that after I finished building my ark, we can all go on vacation to the moon," Huibers told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
But Huibers persevered, and, after making a practice ark, began work on the real thing. The impressive boat rests upon a layer of steel barges that are recycled from their past life of carrying cargo containers. They add buoyancy to the structure - although the ark is not actually stable enough to sail over rougher waters, and must remain close to shore.
Huibers' ark is made from cedar and pine wood, in amounts equivalent to 12,000 trees! The boat is currently a tourist attraction in Dordrecht, Holland, but it has also traveled around to countries including Denmark, Germany, Norway, and even as far as the UK.
To add to the authentic feel of the ark, Huibers has even included some animals in his ark - although, unlike Noah's, his are wooden. These include a giraffe at the ship's helm, plus heads of predators including lions and crocodiles at some of the many windows.
"I wanted children to come here and feel the texture of the wood, see the nails and see that what is written in the book is true," Huibers explained. "It's meant to educate, a reminder that our world is changing, will continue to change, as we see now because of global warming, rising sea levels, fires."
And as for future plans for the ark? Well, Huibers wants to take it on a journey to the location of its inspiration, Israel. "This is a copy of God's ship. It only makes sense to take it to God's land," he said. The only problem is that the boat doesn't have enough power to make that journey alone, and would need to be moved by tugboats at a high cost. Time will tell if Huiber's ark ever does manage to make that journey!
You can take a closer look at the ark in this video.