Originally published in Mail Online
Having been built, according to the Bible, thousands of years ago, Noah’s Ark has only ever existed in peoples’ imaginations.
But now a group of architects who pondered what the Biblical vessel looked like have turned their dreams into reality by constructing a Noah’s Ark replica, complete with animals.
Thomas, Walter and Raymond’s land-bound Ark certainly has dimensions on a Biblical scale, measuring a massive 450ft long and 75ft wide.
And the imaginative trio even attempted to give the giant boat an air of authenticity by placing 67 pairs of animals at the entrance, just like the pairs of creatures saved from the Great Flood by Noah in the Bible tale.
The creationist-inspired vessel forms part of a theme park near Hong Kong which was inspired by a young girl’s scrawled drawing of the mammoth boat.
Architects appear to have used some artistic licence in parts of the Ark – for instance including double-glazed windows, a fine dining restaurant and luxurious bedrooms.
Inside, real-life exotic animals can be found – including a nautilus, a toucan and reams of fish.
The Noah’s Ark Theme Park is now run by Christian organisations, who use it to promote peace and unity.
Matthew Pine, manager of Noah’s Ark Theme Park, said: ‘They had a vision to do something remarkable, something outstanding.
‘They came up with many ideas. Some of them were really outrageous.
‘But then they came across this girl’s drawing, and knew it would be something do-able that captured imaginations.
‘So they hired architects and engineers to create the replica Noah’s Ark.’
Matthew added: ‘The reason we chose that moment in the Bible’s story is because this is the message we want to bring to Hong Kong, to China, to the world.
‘In our lives we always face floods, we will face trials, we will face difficulties.
‘Hopefully Noah’s Ark will inspire people to pass through those troubles as Noah did in his day.’
The Ark opened in May 2009, 17 years after plans were first mooted for the enormous structure.
It is just one of a number of real-life Noah’s Arks – including one built by a Dutchman that contains pairs of living animals.