World’s First Life-Sized “Noah’s Ark”

June 12th, 2009   •   2 comments   

I was recently attracted to news about the billionaire brothers Kwok brothers in Hong Kong has built a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, a project that has been christened as one with “biblical proportions”. While mega attraction projects are not uncommon in this part of the world, what caught my interest was how this project attempts to link entertainment with evangelism. The project also seems timely since the Ark is often seen as a beacon of hope in times of uncertainty and global turmoil, with project director Spencer Lu claiming that “the financial tsunami will be over”.

What’s interesting is that this discovery has also revived an age-old interest in the vessel which certain scholars claim may have been berthed on Mount Ararat in Turkey, an obsession which has grown so far and wide than it has led many researchers and explorers up that icy peak.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time that a replica of the huge wooden vessel is attempted. However, it is supposedly the most accurate in terms of size and dimension. According to the Bible, the floating zoo should be built from gopher wood and measure 300 cubits long, 50 wide and 30 high, with a window, a door and three storeys. From the estimation of modern scholars, that comes out to about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

With all these factors in mind, Hong Kong’s Noah’s Ark presents itself as an excellent case study of a buzzworthy project with all the classic elements of a tantalising tale during these trying times, namely:

Controversy – Are the Kwok brothers commercialising Christianity? Will an explicitly Christian icon be appropriate in a largely Buddhist and Taoist society? Is there also competition amongst the different Noah’s Ark builders and a global race to be the first to test its true shipworthiness?

Metaphoric Relevance – The idea of a floating haven for beasts which helped to save the world during the Great Flood and its parallels to the current global financial meltdown.

Larger than Life Characters – There are strong and unique personalities at play in this tale like Noah himself, the Kwok brothers, and the beneficiaries of this project.

Charity – Apparently, proceeds from this project will go to various causes such as the following on the project website.

Mythic Appeal – There is an air of mystery, legend and romance over the fantastic tale of Noah’s Ark. Is it possible for a wooden vessel to float for one year (after a 40 day deluge…thanks Chun See for clarifying!) conveying all manner of birds and beasts? How does one survive on board such a ship? Can there ever be solid evidence found about the existence of such a feat of ancient engineering?

To conclude, here’s a short clip with a spokesperson sharing what the values of the project are for your viewing pleasure.


Hong Kong: Life-size Noah’s Ark
Uploaded by kj1983. – Discover more animation and arts videos.

Do you think that the Noah’s Ark in Hong Kong can sustain itself after its initial buzz? What are your feelings about this monumental monolith?

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2 comments

  1. Lam Chun See
    posted on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Walter. I think there is an error in your nos. The ark did not float for 40 days. It floated for 1 full year. The rain lasted 40 days

    Is it possible for a wooden vessel to survive such a long period?Absolutely impossible – by human terms. How can the food last that long? There would have been total chaos in the ark, with all the wild animals living side by side with the others..

    That’s why Noah’s ark has been the subject of countless cartoons and jokes, and majority of modern Christians do not believe there actually was such an ark and a global flood that destroyed all air-breathing creatures?

    As for me, I believe it, simply because the bible says so. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

  2. Eurasian Sensation
    posted on Jun 13, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    Noah’s Ark is a great story, and it is no wonder that is one that captures the imagination of so many children when they hear it.

    But I find it amazing that thinking adults can see it as a real event. Not just the ark’s existence and voyage in itself, but the implication that its inhabitants were able to entirely repopulate the world in several thousand years.

    The Bible contains a lot of stories which are too fantastical to be believed as any more than just that – stories. But does that mean that the fundamental truth of Christianity is flawed? No, not necessarily.
    Just as with any story we hear, we must analyse it and sort out truth from myth.

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