Five years after he completed a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, Australian creationist Ken Ham has announced he will build a scale model of the Tower of Babel as his next project.
In an interview to celebrate the Ark’s 5th anniversary, Ham said his organisation, Answers in Genesis, would begin fundraising for the project in 2022 and hoped to open the attraction in three to four years.
The Tower of Babel is part of the Bible’s origin story in Genesis (11:1-9), explaining why people speak different languages. Coming after the Great Flood, the Tower was built by the Babylonians, who wanted to make a name for themselves by building a mighty tower “with its top in the heavens”. But God disrupted the work by confusing the people’s languages so they could no longer understand each other. The tower was never finished, and the people dispersed across the globe.
Ham says the new attraction will tackle racism issues, showing how “all people groups have developed from one biological race” through “genetics research and the Bible”.
The Ark Encounter features a 510-foot-long Ark at its centre, with a zoo and zipline experience thrown in. It was named the state of Kentucky’s most popular attraction. Answers in Genesis claims that with more than 7000 daily visitors (post-pandemic), the Ark Encounter and its Creation Museum have made Kentucky the “leading faith-based destination in America”.
2020 was a difficult year for the hospitality industry across the world, and the Ark Encounter was no different, with visitor numbers taking a massive hit. But Ham says attendance numbers in mid-2021 are now equal to or exceeding pre-pandemic numbers.
During the pandemic, Answers in Genesis built a $3 million high-tech Virtual Reality experience called ‘Truth Traveler”, with special effects moving seats and virtual reality headsets creating an immersive experience in the time of the biblical Noah.
While there is no information on what Ham’s Tower of Babel will look like, an article from 2008 on the Answers in Genesis website gives details of the original tower’s design according to the organisation, based on a study of the oldest buildings in the area that was once ancient Babylonia (now modern-day Iraq).