Rash decisions motivated by intense fears over apocalyptic predictions are nothing new. In 2011, Christian broadcaster Harold Camping promised that the world would come to an end. Embracing his claims, some of his followers sold all of their belongings in anticipation, only to find themselves disappointed and broke. Another doomsday prediction — the dreaded Mayan apocalypse — is slated for Dec. 21. And one Chinese man, Lu Zhenghai, is building a massive ship to ensure that he and his family are protected.
China News Service (CNS) reports that the man, who resides in the northwest region of the country, has poured his life savings into building the boat. So far, Zhenghai has spent $160,000 on the vessel, which already measures 65 feet and will inevitably weigh 80 tons (it was apparently built with 10 tons of timber and an additional 60 tons of steel).
In an interview with CNS, Zhenghai explained his reasoning for creating the ship, which he commenced in 2010 when his fears over a monumental flood apparently took form. The Daily Mail dubs the boat the man’s very own “apocalypse-proof ‘Noah’s Ark.'”
“I’m afraid that when the end of the world comes in 2012, flood waters will destroy my house,” he said, according to a translation by The Huffington Post. “So I took all my savings and invested in the construction of this boat. When the time comes, everyone can take refuge in it.”
With the alleged Mayan destruction just one month away, the ship is reportedly incomplete due to lack of funds. While there is more work to do, Zhenghai claims he won’t be distraught if a flood doesn’t arrive in the coming weeks. After all, the vessel can be used as a ferry and he hopes, at the least, that it will be revered as a tourist attraction worth seeing.
The creation of the modern-day ark comes as scientists attempt to debunk the notion that the Mayans were predicting the end of the world. The Houston Museum of Science, among other institutions, has taken explicit aim at these doomsday theories.