One of the most well-loved Bible stories is Noah's ark, which has apparently inspired Liu Qiyuan, a Chinese inventor, to come up with a 21st century version of the ark designed to withstand a doomsday predicted on Dec 21, 2012 by the Mayan calendar.
He called the vessel an apocalypse survival pod because of its waterproof features and design that will make it float and even withstand an earthquake or tsunami, Mr Liu claimed. The pod can hold 30 people up to two months. It is made of fiberglass casing and steel frame weighing 4,000 kilogrammes.
It has seat belts, oxygen tanks, power generators, batteries and food supplies.
So far, Mr Liu, a furniture maker who lives in Hebei province which is just outside of Beijing, has built seven such pods which cost him $300,000. However, there are still no buyers for the seven pods.
The original idea to build the modern-day Noah's Ark was not over fear of an end-of-the-world scenario as predicted by the Mayan Long Count Calendar, but to address the fear of Mr Liu's daughter of natural disasters.
He pointed out that while the 2012 doomsday may not happen at all, there would still be natural disasters in the future when people could benefit from owning a pod.
While Mr Liu's pod could definitely not accommodate a pair of each animal like Noah's original ark
a real replica of the original ark was opened to the public last week in Dordrecht, the Netherlands and got permission to receive up to 3,000 visitors daily.
Called Johan's Ark, named after its maker Johan Huibere, the replica is only half the length of the one made by Noah which measures 150 cubits or 70 metres. The Ark van Johan measures 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide.