As believers across the globe prepare for the forecast Mayan apocalypse, a Chinese villager says he’s going to save humanity with his giant tsunami proof survival pods.
The pods are made using a fiberglass casing over a steel frame, cost $48,000 each to make and are equipped with oxygen tanks, food and water supplies. They also come with seat belts – essential for surviving in storms.
“The pod won’t have any problems even if there are 1,000 meter high waves, its like a ping pong ball, its skin may be thin but it can withstand a lot of pressure,” the balls’ creator Liu Qiyuan, told AFP from his workshop outside Beijing.
“The pods are designed to carry 14 people at a time, but it’s possible for 30 people to survive inside for at least two months,” insisted Liu
Indeed, their insulation is such that “a person could live for four months in the pod at the north or south pole without freezing,” Liu continued.
Liu explained that he was inspired into making the spheres after seeing the Hollywood disaster film “2012”, which is itself inspired by the expiry of the Mayan calendar on the 21st December 2012. The Mayans were an ancient American civilization whose 5000 year old calendar shortly ends.
“If there really is some kind of apocalypse then you could say I’ve made a contribution to the survival of humanity,” said Liu.
Despite their tough design Liu is yet to sell any of the pods and he’s worried about paying back the loans he took out to build them.
“I worked for many years without saving much money…invested most of my money in the pods, because it’s worth it, it’s about saving lives,” he said.
But Liu isn’t alone in his bid to save mankind. A businessman in China’s eastern Zhejiang province has built 21 similar spherical survival pods which he’s called “Noah’s Ark” and sells for 5 million yuan each.
While another Chinese man from the northwestern Xinjiang province invested all his life savings of $160,000 to build an ark in case his home is flooded out.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have sought to reassure citizens that the world is not going to end on December 21st. Beijing police have posted an online notice telling people that “the so-called end of the world is a rumor” and citizens should instead use “scientific concepts.”