The Hidden Ark project hopes to recreate Noah’s Ark as a Florida theme park. It’s a pretty simple concept, and the guys leading the project have put together a slick presentation that shows 3-D renderings of the finished park. They want to show that “God’s word is real” by recreating an ark that is as accurate to the biblical account as possible, right down to the animals.
Putting aside the question of whether “God’s word is real,” let’s consider this idea from a more practical standpoint. In the virtual fly-through of the ark park, you’ll notice that the boat is not surrounded by open enclosures like you see at most modern zoos. It’s surrounded by the cafe and gift shop and parking lot. So where are these animals going to go? Inside the ark? Surely not.
It’s a little unclear. The park includes about a dozen stable stalls, but it also says there will be webcams so “people will have the opportunity to enter into each of the chambers of the ark from anywhere in the world, and see how animals live, evolve and interact..” (uhh – evolve? Might want to double check your theology, there, guys. But I forgot – I wasn’t going to get into religion.) So it would seem they are planning on cramming some animals in there, two-by-two.
I’m no expert on designing animal exhibits, but I’d guess that a windowless wooden box is not the state of the art. It might have the ancient approval of the Lord, but that’s no guarantee the Florida zoo regulators are going to sign off on it.
But maybe I have it wrong. Maybe the animals are virtual or something? It’s all kind of a mystery – sort of like the story of Noah and the ark itself. I really haven’t read that story since I was in Sunday school years ago. That’s where I got in trouble when I asked the teacher why we stopped reading the story right before it got interesting, when Noah got drunk and passed out naked in his tent. It kind of raises the possibility that Old Noah might have been a little tipsy when he came up with the whole “God told me to build a real big boat” story. Makes you think.