“I didn't think it was possible -- not in the time we had.”
- Acting US President, Carl Anheuser
The Arks, code-named the Cho Ming Operation, were a series of nine ships (however by the time of the 2012 apocalypse only four were completely built and one of them was damaged due to the earthquakes) created to help preserve as much history of the world, fine arts (secretly collected through a front organization called the "Heritage Organization" which First Daughter and art expert Laura Wilson was involved) humans (is estimated that each Ark could hold over 100,000), and animals from the catastrophic events that were about to occur.
They were built in the Cho Ming Valley, Tibet, near the newly-built mega-city in secret where thousands of locals were recruited (mostly by force) to build the Arks. To gather additional funding, the G8 nations allowed the selling of seats on the Arks (given the number of people located in the waiting room of Ark 03, hundreds to one thousand seats were available for selling on each Ark). A lottery selected various individuals (including scientists, engineers, doctors, officials and healthy familes) to board. Funding for the project is secured by selling auxiliary VIP tickets - which was €1,000,000,000 euros per person. Geneticists hired by the G8 nations chose people from all over the world to provide for the genetic diversity the human race would need to repopulate. Workers did not get passes for the Arks (as probably were seen as expendable or there wasn't enough space on the Arks), but later in the movie the G8 heads of state (and probably other 38 nations) voted to open the gates to allow the people they were planning to leave behind to enter the Arks after a motivational (if rather naive) speech by Adrian Hemsley. The only known animals that were on the Arks were giraffes, elephants, rhinos, gorillas, cows, and bears.
When the assembly facility (disguised as a dam) that holds the Arks appears in the climax of the film, it can be seen that there are nine docking stations for the Arks, implying that nine arks were planned to be built (possibly to house the members of the 46 nations financing the Cho Ming Operation). Unfortunately, the predictions by Adrian Hemsley turned out to be wrong and the 2012 apocalypse happened six months before expected (circa June/July) and by that time only three Arks were fully completed (Arks 04, 06 and 07) and it was estimated only 400,000 of the 900,000 selected humans could be saved (however is unknown if they manage to squeeze even more people through hot bunking). However, an earthquake caused by the Earth Crust Displacement on Cho Ming made the roof above Ark 03 collapse and damage the vessel (is possible the damage could have been repaired but the approaching of another wave shortened the remaining time from 2 hours to 29 minutes), forcing the transferring of the crew, passengers (except the VIPs) and cultural heritage aboard Ark 03 to the other three remaining Arks (when Captain Michael, Adrian, Laura, and Anheuser are boarding the American Ark, the David statue can be seen being stored on the same ship, despite being the American ship).
- Ark 01: Unknown. Construction was delayed for 2 straight years due to lack of manpower and was only seen as incomplete when Adrian, Carl Anheuser, and the others passed by on the way to Ark 04. It was seen to still being in the process of construction when they first took the bus into the facility. Including Ark 2.
- Ark 02: Unknown. Was seen on Ark 3's left side and was almost completed before the tidal wave hit.
- Ark 03: Unknown. Damaged by a roof collapse during a strong earthquake. Boarding at that time was delayed but was permanently shut down when an angry mob led by Yuri broke through the glass doors and headed straight for Ark 4, making the repairs crew abandon their posts.
- Ark 04: United States: Completed and operational at the time of the 2012 catastrophe. The vessel carried the acting Commander-In-Chief (formerly Secretary of State) Carl Anheuser, Adrian Helmsley, and the daughter of deceased President Thomas Wilson Laura, alongside Jackson and his family, the Karpov twins, the monk family and hundreds of thousands more. Significantly damaged due to a flood breach when Jackson and Tenzin's families had attempted to stow away, but instead jammed the back door of the ark, causing the tidal wave to flood the rear half of the ark with water. It is assumed that the parts of the ark that were flooded were either abandoned or repaired in the coming days after.
- Ark 05: Unknown. Never built or partially completed in the first place, with an empty bay with the #5 on it since the first thing to be built was the dam.
- Ark 06: China, Japan, and Russia. Completed and operational at the time of the 2012 catastrophe. Among its hundreds of thousands of occupants were: the President of Russia Sergey Makarenko and his translator, the Prime Minister of Japan and the Premier of China.
- Ark 07: Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and United Kingdom. Completed and operational at the time of the 2012 Catastrophe. Among its hundreds of thousands of occupants were the British Royal Family and the Prime Minister of the UK, the President of France, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Prime Minister of Spain and the Chancellor of Germany.
- Ark 08: Unknown. Never built or partially completed.
- Ark 09: Unknown. Never built or partially completed.
List of people on board the arks
Other reasons include that the other Arks...:
- That Construction began in 2010, in which it took less than three years for the four out of five vessels to be launched.
- Lost contact with Ark No. 4
- Set a different course
- Might have been destroyed in the chaos of colliding with Mt. Everest
- Never left the dam
- Were never actually built in the first place, given there was so little time to build them
- If you skip the movie, At 1 hour 48 minutes and 7 seconds, you can count the number of ark positions as nine ships. And at 2 hours 1 minute 33 seconds the Ark 4 communications officer connects Dr. Helmsley to the other ships through a console that shows nine ship references.
- In real life, it would take a massive amount of money, materials, and even a massive amount of workers from around the world to build one Ark of the size they were, let alone multiple Arks.
- Estimates of the dimensions of one ark state a length of 850 meters, a width of 120-150 meters, and a height of 110 meters. Materials include strengthened titanium and steel for the hull.
- Only three arks managed to survive the apocalypse while the other ones were either destroyed due to the earth's crust or still under construction.
- It can be assumed that the people and some animals even treasures inside the arks are the only survivors of the 2012 event.
- Estimated weight is over 5 million tons