A now 15-year-old boy from Iceland used 56,000 Legos to build a replica of one of the world’s most famous ships: the Titanic.
Brynjar Karl Bigisson, from Reykjavik, the country’s capital, built the model when he was just 10 years old. It has since been on display in countries all over the world, including Germany, Sweden, Norway and beyond — but can now be found at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
At 26-feet-long, 5-feet-tall and 4-feet wide, the replica is the world’s largest Titanic model built with Legos. It took Brynjar 11 months — roughly 700 hours — to complete the project, he told the museum.
The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 while crossing the Atlantic from Western Europe to the U.S. Roughly 1,500 people out of the 2,240 on board died after the ship struck an iceberg.
The boy first started playing with Legos when he was 5, but it wasn’t until his mother took him to Legoland in Denmark that he started to think about making his very own Lego model.
“By the time I was 10, I started to think about building the Lego Titanic model in a Lego man size,” Brynjar said.
His grandfather, Ludvik Baldur Ögmundsson, scaled down the ship’s original blueprint to find out exactly how many Lego bricks he would need. However, he said it was mother, Bjarney Sigrun Ludviksdottir, who he called his “coach and mentor.”
“She helped me to find ways to make this dream become a reality. She helped me with communication and make sure I was on track with my journey,” Brynjar said.
Brynjar added that family and friends donated money so he could buy all the Lego bricks needed for the project. But building the replica was no easy feat: the 15-year-old said he considered to “stop this crazy project” a few different times, especially after the ship’s stern collapsed twice.
But seeing his goal through has helped Brynjar in one particular aspect of his life: accepting his autism.
“I understand much better today that it’s not only the model that was the attraction, it was my story and how the whole process helped me out of the fog,” he said.
Brynjar said before he started the project, he was “totally unable to communicate.” But now, “it has given me confidence,” he said, adding that his grades have gone up and his classmates now “consider me as their peer.”
“Being Autistic can sound a bit scary because there is no cure or pill to fix it, but there are ways to become more functional and I’m a real-time store. My story has given parents of autistic kids hope, that this diagnosis is not that terrible,” he said.
His mother echoed this sentiment.
“It’s a really good feeling to be able to share with other parents that it’s more than possible to train autistic kids to the overcome these hindrances,” she told the museum.
Brynjar said his Lego-building days are over; he hopes to become the captain of a ship one day.
“I never imagined my project would make such impact. Things just evolved and we followed the flow. But I’m very honored and happy that my project was an inspiration to so many others – also motivation to follow your own dreams,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge was not immediately available for additional comment when contacted by Fox News on Tuesday.