And Finally

Ready for anything

Yiwu inventor launches modern day Ark, targeting billionaire buyers

Want to survive end of the world? Buy this

Aafter the great flood, Noah’s Ark is said to have come to rest on the tip of Mount Ararat, at the far eastern end of modern-day Turkey. So says the Bible. But for those who want to see a modern-day version of Noah’s lifeboat, Yiwu is the place to look, after an inventor completed a “Noah’s Ark for those who are worried about an apocalypse”.

Inspired partly by the disaster movie 2012, Yang Zongfu, has built a craft that looks little like its Biblical predecessor. But he says the yellow, spherical survival pod can sustain life in everything from extreme weather to a nuclear meltdown.

Yang says of his creation: “I hope it is useful to humans and can help more people before the advent of catastrophic disaster in the future.”

The cheerful 32 year-old spent three years and Rmb1.5 million to create the capsule, which can house a family of three and boasts windows and a complete ventilation system. The pod is designed to withstand collisions, radiation and temperatures of up to 1700 degrees Celsius.

And those inside should be able to survive for up to a year on the vessel’s biscuits, water and oxygen supply.

To prove the ark’s heat resistance, Yang set a smaller replica model on fire before proudly revealing the fully-preserved iced lolly that he had housed inside. And to show that the ark can take a beating, Yang decided to climb into the capsule himself, before it was shoved down a 50-metre hill, crashed through a stone wall and dropped into a pool. Yang emerged unscathed (except for a cut on his chin, which he attributed to a “bad helmet”).

The designer told the Global Times that he has received 20 orders since his invention debuted on August 7, although the survival vessel doesn’t come cheap. Yang says they will be sold for Rmb5 million ($785,000) each.

Apparently, more than a few others share Yang’s gloomy prognosis that doomsday could arrive imminently. One businessman from Shanxi province is said to have ordered 15 of the capsules, telling Yang to use only the best materials in construction because “money is not a problem”.

“Customers have different requirements, but most of them ask for better safety, performance and comfort,” Yang advised the China Youth Daily. “So, I will triple the armour and add some home furnishing elements to the interior.”


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