Inside Ark Encounter, Kentucky’s Preeminent Life-Sized Noah’s Ark (via GQ)



GQ — Noah’s Ark is the first left after the gas station, down the street from the Mexican restaurant.

I know going in that it’s technically called the Ark Encounter, that it’s dry-docked here in Kentucky, and that it’s the work of a creationist organization called Answers in Genesis (AiG). But given that it constitutes a $100 million boat-shaped Bible theme park and the self-proclaimed “largest timber-frame structure in the world,” I’d expected a more dramatic approach. Maybe some animatronics. At least a little traffic. Instead the thing just appears in the distance, massive and curious and facing away, as if it has already started sailing without me.

From this perspective, I can already tell that it doesn’t look a thing like the Noah’s Ark I heard about in Sunday School, which was essentially a Little Tikes pool toy that eluded the laws of physics while ferrying a floating zoo to safety during a rainstorm. As the celestially appointed sea captain, Noah was depicted as a jolly Caucasian carpenter with kind eyes and a Dumbledore beard. He carried a staff, which he used to herd the koalas and llamas, all of which were extremely huggable.

The Ark Encounter is a lot of things, but it’s not huggable. Here’s what’s going on inside the planet’s judgiest, death-iest theme park. 




About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

One response to “Inside Ark Encounter, Kentucky’s Preeminent Life-Sized Noah’s Ark (via GQ)

  • SE

    Your Ark article reads with quite a bias, are you aware of it? Many christian faiths have indeed wanted to ignore the biblical history and call everything good and lovely instead. But it is the history of a large portion of the world’s faith, like it or not. Critics and scientists have given their views in detail of how the Ark was an impossibility to float, steer, build, or operate. This seems to be an attempt to show that all those claims are not really factual. Why do you fault them for trying to provide the detailed answer to detailed critics? KFC in front of the ark as the lead pic, yes that says the article is likely not being fair from the get go.

    If that many people come in to see it, then the community and state benefits greatly. No one forced local officials to provide assistance that in turn helps their region. Happens all the time in business. This nonprofit with a Christian message takes the same “In God we trust” dollars as you carry.

    So, did you find the display faulty in any technical details? Was it in error as to the biblical description? If you do not approve of the bible story, then do not blame them for representing it accurately. Just a bit of bias.


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