"I didn't think it was possible -- not in the time we had."
- Carl Anheuser
The Arks were created to help preserve as much history of the world, humans, and animals from the catastrophic events that were about to occur. They were built in the Cho Ming Valley near the newly-built megacity in secret where thousands of locals were recruited (mostly by force) to build the Arks. The cost to go on the Arks were free per person, even for poor and homeless people but permission is required before getting on. Geneticists chose people from all over to world to provide for the genetic diversity the human race would need to repopulate. Workers did not get passes for the Ark, but later in the movie the heads of state wanted to open the gates for the people whom were they were planning to leave behind. The only known animals that were on the arks were giraffes, elephants, rhinos, gorillas, cows, and bears.
Captain Michaels was the captain of Ark Number 4. When the dam that holds the Arks appears throughout the film, you can see that there are eight docking stations for the Arks. It is then implied that there are eight arks. Curtis's family, Tenzin's family, and Tamara are locked in the mechanical rooms and shafts of Ark No. 4, due to a malfunction with the Ark's computer and systems. Ark #3 was damaged by a roof collapse and was therefore permanently shut down, potentially leaving thousands stranded. Only 4 Arks were completed, with Captain Michaels stating, "[Ark No. 4]'s sister ships, Ark No. 7 and 8, have found us and are now on our course." It is possible that each Ark was built for each of the 8 most powerful nations in the world, as on three of the Arks, the European Union and American flags can be seen.
List of people on board the arks EditPassengers and Crew
Other reasons include that the other Arks...:
- 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
- In real life, it would take a very long time and loads of money to build all of the Arks.
- Only three arks managed to survive the apocalypse while the other ones were either destroyed or still under construction.
- It can be assumed that the people and some animals inside the arks are the only survivors of the 2012 event.