Like most teens with autism, Brynjar Karl Birgisson of Iceland has had to overcome a lot in his life. However, he has found his way into the record books by building the largest replica of the Titanic out of Legos the world has ever seen.
When he was 10 years old, Brynjar combined his love of Legos and fascination with the doomed ocean liner. Over the course of 11 months, he spent over 700 hours creating a replica of the Titanic that’s five feet tall and 24 feet long.
The replica includes over 65,000 separate Legos and was put together with the help of roughly 120 tubes of crazy glue.
The Titanic replica has been Brynjar’s ticket to see the world. His masterpiece has been displayed throughout Europe, allowing him to visit countries like Germany, Sweden, and Norway. More recently, he’s visited the United States, as his replica is on display at a Titanic museum in Tennessee through 2020.
Aside from helping him see the world, building his Titanic replica has been invaluable in helping Brynjar to learn about himself and his condition.
“The whole journey has helped me out of my autistic fog,” he explains. “I’ve trained myself to be ‘as normal as possible,’ whatever normal means.”
When he began making the replica at age 10, Brynjar struggled to communicate and needed constant assistance in school. But because of his replica, he’s learned to give interviews, speak on stage, and feel comfortable talking with anybody.”
“It has given me confidence,” says Brynjar. “I never build anything after the Titanic. I turned more towards exploring ships and their stories because I’m interested in becoming a captain when I grow up.”
Of course, Brynjar didn’t put the replica together all by himself. Friends and family members donated money so he could afford all of those Lego bricks. HIs grandfather also showed him a copy of Titanic’s original blueprints to help him scale the replica properly.
Brynjar’s Titanic replica has not only changed his own life, it has also shown others with autism what they can accomplish if they have a goal in mind and a little bit of help.