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Chinese man's six-ton balls save lives

Four-metre spheres promise to survive floods, heat, radiation

An eco-town resident fails to reach the perimeter

Wacky Chinese inventor Yang Zongfu has unveiled his answer to Noah’s Ark – a radiation-proof, six ton steel-encased ball designed to protect a family of three from disaster.

The bizarre bubble took eccentric businessman Yang two years to build and cost a whopping 1.5 million yuan (£150,868), according to China Daily.

The fantastical contraption measures four metres in diameter and contains “basic living facilities” to keep three people safe and dry in the event of a second Old Testament-style drenching.

Yang claimed that said family of three could theoretically survive inside the bubble for up to 10 months, although the awkward issue of bathroom matters was left untouched.

The ball has ventilation, a spring-mounted “safe seat” and is apparently resistant to radiation and extreme heat.

To prove just how safe it is, Yang lobbed it off the side of a 50 metre high hill in Yiwu county, Zhejiang province, and into a large pool of water.

To the relief of onlookers he emerged from the battered ball with apparently just a small scratch on his chin due to a helmet malfunction.

It’s not clear exactly how the “safe seat” inside works, but the Daily was on hand to wheel out Nanchang University physics professor Liao Qinghua who confirmed that, yes, it is feasible to build such a machine according to the laws of physics.

Remarkably, a man from Shanxi province has apparently already ordered 15 of the spherical life-savers for an unspecified sum.

Given the fatal floods which paralysed parts of Beijing last month, maybe Yang isn’t as mad as he seems.

He already holds over 300 patents for various inventions including snow shovelling equipment which apparently even caught the eye of outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao. ®

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