Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 20, 2022

Replicas of Noah’s Ark

(4 Minute Read plus video. 20Jul2022)

Forty-five centuries ago, at God’s direct command, Noah and his sons built an ocean-going ship to preserve life during the worst storm the world has ever known. With tidal waves crashing over continents, that worldwide flood of judgment from Yahweh makes hurricanes and tsunamis of recent decades look like spring showers.

Noah’s gigantic vessel has long fascinated people, but no one knows exactly how it looked. But large-scale models have been built around the world to visualize the impact of the Biblical record of Noah’s Ark.

Huibers’ Ark Replica in Holland

Replica Ark in Holland

In April 2007 a Noah’s Ark replica opened for visitors in Schagen, Holland, 30 miles north of Amsterdam.

The ark has many animal sculptures along with a live petting zoo. Biblical exhibits are displayed throughout.

The ark was built by Dutch building contractor and creationist Johan Huibers. He dreamed and planned for 14 years before beginning work in May 2005. He worked 8 to 5 six days a week with some after-school help from his son and a few friends.

Huibers purchased and milled over 1,200 American cedar and Norwegian pine logs for his ark. It’s built on a seaworthy steel barge towed by two tugboats. Huibers financed the $1.2 million project with bank loans, pledging his business halls as collateral.

Noah probably hired many workers and may have financed his ark with loans too. Unlike Huibers, Noah never had to repay them.

With adult admission three euros, Huibers needed 100,000 visitors to recoup his investment. In three and a half years at 21 mooring sites throughout the Netherlands, 600,000 visited Huibers’ ark.

Inside Huibers’ Ark

Huibers built the ark for a tangible witness to his confidence in Scripture. He hopes the project will “renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands.”

Huibers said, “The design is by my wife. She didn’t really want me to do this, but she said if you’re going to anyway, it should look like this. She understands this is my dream.”

According to the Genesis record, Noah’s ark was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Ancient cubits ranged from 17.5 inches to 20.6 inches.

The scale of Huibers’ model differs from Noah’s original. Huibers’ ark is 225 feet long by 45 feet high by 30 feet wide — same height, but half the length, and less than half the width assuming an 18-inch cubit.

Huibers carefully sized his ark to pass under every bridge and through every sluice along his sailing route to all of Holland’s main cities on interior waterways. He built it in Schagen’s small harbor. He plans to exhibit it throughout the world.

Huibers’ ark is only one-fifth the capacity of the original ark. Still its size flabbergasts visitors who repeatedly say, “I had no idea the ark was so big.”

Huibers debunked suggestions that his project had been prompted by fear of a global-warming-induced flood of low-lying Holland. “It won’t happen again,” he said. “You know, the rainbow,” citing God’s rainbow promise never again to flood the entire earth (Genesis 9:9-16).

This first Huibers ark was damaged in a collision in 2016 and is currently closed. He began work on a full-size ark in 2009, completing and opening it to the public in 2012.

BibleScienceGuy and friends
at the Ark Encounter July 2016

Replica Ark in Kentucky

Inside the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, is a 2-story section of the Ark complete with life-size animatronic humans, sound effects, and conjectured construction techniques.

About 45 minutes by car south of the Creation Museum near Williamstown, Kentucky, is the Ark Encounter. This is a full-size replica ark based on a cubit of 20.4 inches. The ark is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high.

The Ark Encounter is the world’s largest timber-frame structure. It was built in part by skilled Amish craftsmen from standing dead timber. Design work began in 2010, and the Ark Encounter opened in July 2016.

The Ark Encounter has three decks, just as Noah’s Ark did. They are full of world class exhibits suggesting answers to questions like these:
How did Noah build the Ark?
How could Noah fit all the animals on the Ark?
How did he and his family care for the animals onboard for a year?
Were dinosaurs on the Ark?
What was the Flood like?
What was life like aboard the Ark?
What was Noah’s world like before and after the Flood?

Truth Traveler, a totally immersive 4K virtual reality experience, takes viewers through Noah’s construction of the Ark and the drama of the Great Flood.

The facility also includes a zoo, a 2000-foot zip line, a children’s play area with an Ark-themed carousel opening this summer, and one of the largest restaurants in the country. I have personally visited the Ark several times and highly recommend it.

Future plans for the Ark Encounter theme park include a 40-acre Walled City depicting the lifestyle of Noah’s times. A 100-foot Tower of Babel will be a conjectured model of the Tower and include exhibits on the origin of languages and people groups. A giant indoor model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ is planned to open in 2024.

Here is a short video surveying the Ark Encounter.

Other Replica Arks

On the other side of the world, Hong Kong’s three billionaire Kwok brothers built the first full-size ark replica. In planning for 17 years and construction for 5, it’s on a harbor island and houses a restaurant, museum, exhibit hall, and resort hotel. Opening in June 2009, the Kwok ark isn’t as good as Noah’s — it doesn’t float.

A Frostburg, Maryland, minister began a full-size ark in 1974, but funds petered out in the 1990s. An enormous concrete and steel skeleton remains which he hopes to finish eventually.

Florenceville, New Brunswick, boasts a two-thirds scale ark built in the early 1990s. Surrounded by potato fields, the 300-foot boat holds a college dormitory, retreat center, and offices. Nearby is Potato World, a potato museum you don’t want to miss with more about potatoes than you ever wanted to know.

Hidrolandia in northern Brazil is home to a tourist park with a 200-foot iron and cement ark replica holding 300 animal sculptures.

Impressive

Geological evidence worldwide still testifies to the enormous destruction wrought by Noah’s Flood. Even when smaller than Noah’s Ark, these replicas continually astonish people with their size. Noah’s construction of so large a boat that proved seaworthy through the year-long global storm is an impressive accomplishment. Even today with all our sophisticated knowledge, man has difficulty duplicating Noah’s feat.

Questions to Ponder

1. Did Jesus believe that Noah’s giant Ark actually existed? Did Jesus think a real Noah survived a catastrophic global flood?
(See Did Jesus Think Noah Was Real?)
2. How might experiencing one of the Ark models impact your discipleship as a follower of Jesus?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

This is the 18th article in a series on Noah. This Noah Series will suggest answers to many of the questions believers and skeptics have about Noah, Noah’s Ark, and Noah’s Flood.
Read the prequels:
1. Think You Know Noah?
2. Did Jesus Think Noah Was Real?
3. How Long Did It Take Noah to Build the Ark?
4. Could Noah Build the Ark in 75 Years?
5. How Big Was Noah’s Ark?
6. Were Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?
7. Could Noah Fit All the Animals on the Ark?
8. What Was Noah’s Flood Like?
9. Was Noah’s Flood Global or Local?
10. Life on Noah’s Ark
11. Were Zebras on Noah’s Ark?
12. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Canyons
13. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Fossils
14. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Rock Layers
15. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Worldwide Memories
16. Significance of Noah’s Flood
17. How Did Noah’s Kangaroos Get to Australia?

Read the sequel:
19. The Waters of Noah’s Flood

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday July 20, 2022 A.D.

Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.
(Genesis 6:13-17)

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