'Noah's Ark' to Sail the Atlantic, Headed for Rio Olympics

Dutch replica built according to biblical measurements will dock in U.S., Argentine, Uruguay and Colombia before finishing in Brazil for the Olympic Games.

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The Dutch replica of Noah's Ark.
The Dutch replica of Noah's Ark.Credit: Ark of Noah Foundation/JTA
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A Dutch Christian organization is planning to sail a “replica” of Noah’s Ark to reach Brazil during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, set to begin in August in Rio de Janeiro.

Longer than an official soccer field, the vessel was built following the biblical measurements given in Genesis 6:15, the director of the Ark of Noah Foundation Herald A.M.A. Janssen told ABC News.

The voyage, which is still in its planning stages, intends to stop at multiple port cities in Brazil as well as Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia, before coming to the United States.

The ark, which spans five floors and can hold more than 5,000 people at once, weighs roughly 2,500 tons and is 95 feet wide, 410 feet long and 75 feet tall. Carpenter Johan Huibers said he began building it after dreaming about an intense storm that flooded his hometown in the Netherlands.

“And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred 8 cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits,” reads the Bible passage.

By reviewing multiple historical measurement units in the various ancient cultures, Huibers created a measurement scale to use while building his ark. Since its completion in 2012, hundreds of thousands have visited the ark, which became a multi-floor interactive exhibit, focused on the spreading of religious teachings from the bible for Christian educational purposes.

Tourists who visit the ark encounter Bible-based stories and exhibitions, attractions, a movie theater and more.

“We are so pleased with the very warm support of the private community in Fortaleza, our first stop in Brazil after crossing the Atlantic Ocean,” Janssen said. “The target is to reach Fortaleza in July, and reach the Paralympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro by September 7.”

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