On this day in 1947 the Kon Tiki raft reached land in the Pacific Ocean as it ran up on a reef off the Raiora Atoll in the Tuamotu islands! This project was conceived and executed by Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer and anthropologist and his crew of 4 other norwegians and a swede.
The purpose of this expedition was to prove Heyerdahl’s theory that the pacific islands were inhabited by peoples from the americas, centuries ago. Heyerdahl believed that these people sailed along on the ocean currents and he built his raft to resemble what these ancient vessels may have looked like.
The raft itself was built from balsa wood trunks and logs and hemp rope. It was designed to be non steerable so as to be at the mercy of the currents. It was small for a party of 6 men sailing across the Pacific for 101 days!
Stories of exploration are amazing, charting of new territory, discovering new lands and peoples, learning new things, and gaining new understandings. Leaving behind what is known for the unknown.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships were made for.” –John A. Shedd
Having spent 3 years of my life in Norway, I was able to visit the Thor Heyerdahl museum in Oslo, Norway. I remember seeing the Kon Tiki raft and the Ra II, which was used to sail from Egypt to Spain. Revisiting these stories on this 69 year anniversary of the expedition brings back a lot of good memories.
There are other theories about the migration of peoples throughout the Pacific and the world. Others believe in the migration from west to east, using more detailed charting, mapping and navigational techniques. I am not here to say which is wrong and which is right. They could both be right in actuality. I just believe that exploration is woven into the fabric of humanity. We were created to blaze trails, to discover new lands, to voyage into places and situations never before seen.
God told Adam and Eve to “fill the earth and subdue it”. From the very beginning of the human race we were designed to explore this wonderfully amazing plant in which we live.
Thor Heyerdahl was named “Norwegian of the Century” for his studies and expeditions to show the migratory patterns of peoples in the ancient world.
What worlds or theories are you going to discover. There are still plenty of avenues to explore to bring about greater understanding of our world. What are you passionate about?