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More Than One Person Has Built an Ark To Prepare for the Mayan Apocalypse

How exactly does one prepare for the end of the world?

‘Apocalypse Then’ Photo: Victor Keegan

The end of the world is right around the corner (supposedly), dictated (maybe) by the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, a time when nine gods will descend to Earth from heaven and do… something. (It’s not clear what.) With such an indistinct framework within which to plan for the impending (not really) apocalypse, people have had to rely on their imaginations and creative ingenuity to determine the best way in which to weather the storm.

In China, says the Associated Press, two men saw fit, independently, to start building Arks—ships to save them from whatever is coming.

Lu Zhenghai has spent his life savings, some $160,000, building the 70-foot-by-50-foot vessel powered by three diesel engines, according to state media.

“I am afraid that when the end of the world comes, the flood will submerge my house,” the 44-year-old ex-army man was quoted as saying.

Another man, the 32-year old Yang Zongfu, has a much more elaborate approach, seeing fit to prepare for more than just rising waters.

His vessel, Atlantis, a three-ton yellow steel ball 13 feet (four meters) in diameter, is designed to survive a volcano, tsunami, earthquake or nuclear meltdown, according to the state-run Liao Wang magazine.

No word on what the two men will use their ships for should the world escape destruction in a week’s time. But, if we’ve learned nothing else from a childhood education weened on moralizing cartoons, we’ve learned that hard work and planning can be their own reward.

More from Smithsonian.com:
Questions About the Apocalypse? Ask This Guy
Ten Notable Apocalypses That (Obviously) Didn’t Happen
Big Apple Apocalypse: 200 Years of Destroying New York City

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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