Inspired by the rousing vision of the end times that was Roland Emmerich’s ‘2012’, a welder in the Henan city of Luohe (漯河市) has had his own private Noah’s Ark constructed, in the hopes that he and his family can
ride out the mountainous waves that shall engulf us all survive any future water-based cataclysms.
The 20,000RMB cylindrical waterproof Ark (formerly a less evocative ‘oil tank’) is 2.5 meters in diameter, 8 meters in length, and comes complete with windows, vents and a hatch. Its interior will be divided into a bedroom, storage room (for all the instant noodles) and restroom, and reputedly can hold up to 20 people (read: at least 45, since it’s China). The next phase of construction involves the installation of beds, power generators and kitchen appliances.
So even if the end of our current long-count baktun cycle doesn’t involve mountains crumbling and the secretion of hot, hot magma, at least its owner will have a place to hide out and go on days-long app-download binges without interruption. Which is a relief, since there’s absolutely no other possible use the ‘Ark’ could serve.
For starters, its seaworthiness looks to be pretty much less than zero. And even if it did float, where is the accounting for the considerable rolling that’ll be caused by violent crashing waves? Just because Fievel’s family survived sewer rapids in a metal pan doesn’t mean any random rusty metal container is a legitimate plan to avoid drowning. Not to mention the fact that a refurbished oil tank on the ocean brings to mind the cargo containers used in human trafficking, which (as evidenced in Lethal Weapon 4) was all the rage back in the day.
We’d say that the case of this Ark-barrel is a curious mix of A) Chinese fatalism, B) traditional superstition being fueled by the power of Hollywood imagery, and C) the sort of ingenuity amongst China’s DIY dreamers that sees farmers building robots and other random crap.
Honestly though, someone should sit down 2012-ers to explain that, given all that mankind has done to the earth, it wouldn’t make sense for God, Gaia or the Universe to simply let humans shuffle off the terra with a swift and merciful extinction. If any sort of karmic debt is going to be collected, we’re confident it’ll be through a slow and drawn-out painful decline. Or so the burning shrubs tell us, anyway.