Are you ready for doomsday?

December 18, 2012

By Petar Kujundzic

Is the world coming to an end on Dec. 21, 2012 as the ancient Mayans predicted more than 2,000 years ago?

After seeing a short video about a farmer in northern China who built several “pod” arks to survive the Mayan prophecy, we decided to go to his village and try to find him. Helped by local villagers it was relatively easy to find his little factory, so we ended up in front of several giant cannonball-shaped objects sitting in his courtyard.

Liu Qiyuan (45), the former owner of a furniture factory, started drawing concepts for his “doomsday” survival device following his own daughter’s fears of natural disasters in years past.

The original, named “The Enemy of Shipwreck”, is a 4-meter-tall life survival capsule weighing 4.2 tons, with a passenger capacity of up to 30 people. The pods are equipped with seat belts, oxygen tanks, power generators, batteries and food supplies, which according to the inventor are enough to sustain passengers for at least two months.

One of the pods could be seen floating in a large canal near Liu’s village following recent successful testing.

To build seven versions of the pod, which Liu hopes will one day be mass-produced, he invested around 2 million yuan (300,000 U.S. dollars); a small fortune indeed.

Liu is aware that the ’2012′ doomsday won’t necessarily happen but he strongly believes the pods can be used for tsunamis, shipwrecks on the open sea or earthquakes. “You can be sure disasters will happen around the world in the future. It is important to be ready,” Liu said. Chinese people say “It’s better to be prepared for nothing, than to be unprepared for something.”

If great floods do come on Dec. 21 followed by three days and nights of darkness, as many believe, at least one Chinese farmer and his family will be safe.

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