In a world with increased international tension, the Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than ever before. Since the development of nuclear weapons in 1945, people have feared the outbreak of a nuclear war. Less than three weeks after the first text explosion in the United States, the atomic bomb was dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, simultaneously ending World War Two and causing devastating consequences that are still being felt to this day.
While the possibility of nuclear annihilation is undoubtedly terrifying, few people have genuinely prepared for such an event. One of the exceptions to this rule is 83-year-old Bruce Beach from Canada who has spent almost fifty years creating a bunker of his own (aptly dubbed “Ark Two”), which he claims has the capacity to save around 350 people in the event of a nuclear war and help them rebuild life as we know it in its aftermath.
The bunker itself is a colossal 10,000 sq-ft and is made up of 42 school buses. It is now so large that it’s the biggest privately owned nuclear fallout shelter in North America. Beach claims that while his bunker has all “the comforts of home”, it’s also a functional space which doubles as an orphanage, a distribution service for emergency supplies, and a refugee processing facility. It’s even got its own mortuary.
In the video below, Bruce gives a tour of his colossal bunker:
According to Beach, he built the bunker out of goodwill, but he has been described as a “nut” by many people. Because his bunker is so large, officials in the area have threatened to close it out of fear that it’s a public safety hazard, however, Beach has rubbished their opinions and said that when the end of the world comes, people will be vying for a space inside.
“I used to always say the end of the world was going to be two years from now,” Beach said in November 2017, cackling at the prospect of his bunker finally being used. “But now I say it is going to be two weeks from now – and if I am wrong, I will revise my date.”
Since a number of months have passed since November, Beach has undoubtedly had to revise his date yet again. At the age of 83, he hopes that if he doesn’t live to see Ark Two spring into action and save the lives of 350 people at the end of the world, that his team of 50 volunteers will continue his work after his death and presumably keep his legacy alive until a nuclear war breaks out.