Modern-Day Noah: Dutch Man Builds Ark of Biblical Proportions

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Johan Huber's original ark, half the size of his second model

If you had infinite time and endless religious zeal, what are the chances you’d spend your days building a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark?

After dreaming of the Netherlands disappearing in water almost 20 years ago, Johan Huibers set out to recreate an ark like Noah’s in the Book of Genisis. Practically speaking, it’s not a ridiculous aspiration, as nearly one-quarter of the Netherlands lies below sea level. Almost 2,000 people in his home province were killed by a flood in 1953.

(More on TIME.com: Has Noah’s Ark been discovered in Turkey?)

Between 2005 and 2007 he built his first ark, spending six days a week constructing a half-size replica using the biblical measurements. During the first two years after it was completed, 400,000 visitors toured the ark. Last year, he sold the original model to a friend in order to focus his energies on the main event, a full-size ark.

Now, the Dutch building contractor has nearly completed a life-size model of Noah’s ark, which he says will be ready for visitors in May. His current opus follows the dimensions described in Genesis 6:15 — 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits. The new ark’s volume is nearly ten times the original’s. Despite his attempted precision, there is no standardized interpretation of the size of a cubit. Huiber is equating the biblical measurement to half a meter.  Inside, it houses two theaters, a cinema, a restaurant, live animals (of course) and a train that takes visitors on a ride through the creation story.

(More on TIME.com: Read about a 1960s replica of Noah’s Ark.)

In 2012, Huibers plans to sail his ark to London for the Olympic Games. As impressive as this ark sounds, NewsFeed’s unsure about what Olympic event will be suited for this floating zoo.

See a video of Huiber’s first ark:

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