Inspired by Roland Emmerich’s science fiction drama ’2012,’ and just in time for the end of the Mayan calendar, amateur inventor Liu Qiyuan developed an apocalypse survival capsule and called ‘Noah.’ “No matter whether the rumor that the world will end in 2012 is true or not, we should use our brains to thwart it,” Liu told a visiting journalist from local Yanzhao Metropolitan Daily.
After watching the blockbuster movie in April, he reportedly hired ten workers and invested 1.8 million yuan ($288,000) building six capsules, each for $50,000. The metal structures covered by fiberglass are heat-isolated, block radiation and water, he says. Thanks to an electric motor, they can move 360 degrees underwater. Each capsule has two chambers: the larger one provides enough fake-leather seating with seat-belts for 14 people, the smaller one stocks drinking water and food. “Fourteen people could survive five months at sea,” he said.
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The U.S. space agency NASA and the Vatican have refuted claims that the world is ending on Dec. 21, when the Mayan calendar runs out of days. Still, one in seven are worried about the impending end of the world—at least they were, back in May, according to an Ipsos-Reuters survey. China topped the survey: 20% of those asked “agreed that the Mayan calendar, which some say ends in 2012, marks the end of the world.”
In the country’s commercial capital Shanghai, police have been at pains to dismiss impending Armageddon as a myth taken advantage of by fraudsters “instilling fears in the public.” In the Western Chinese province Sichuan’s Longchang county, candles have been sold out to hoarders in preparation for a three-day blackout coming doomsday. In Northwestern China’s remote Xinjiang region, on man reportedly invested one million yuan ($160,000) in building a 21 meter-long Noah’s Arc to survive apocalypse. Having run out of funds halfway, it is unlikely that the 80-tonne ship will be completed in time for Dec. 21.