70th Year of The Kon-Tiki Expedition: A Breathtaking Norwegian Story

70 years ago, Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean on a primitive balsawood raft to prove his theory that South Americans could have originally populated Polynesia. 

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Thor Heyerdahl (1914–2002) is one of history’s most famous explorers. In 1947 he crossed the Pacific Ocean on the balsawood raft Kon-Tiki. This was his first expedition to be captured on film, and was later awarded Academy Award for best documentary in 1951. He later completed similar achievements with the reed boats Ra, Ra II and Tigris, through which he championed his deep involvement for both the environment and world peace.

“ONE CAN’T BUY A TICKET TO PARADISE. YOU HAVE TO FIND IT WITHIN YOURSELF.”
– THOR HEYERDAHL

The Kon-Tiki expedition—and in its wake

The peoples of South America did not have seaworthy rafts or boats that could take them as far as the Polynesian islands, according to scholars with whom Heyerdahl discussed the subject. So in order to prove that it was possible, he decided to build a raft and make the journey himself. On 28 April 1947 Thor and five other men left Callao in Peru on a balsawood raft called the Kon-Tiki, destined for Polynesia. The raft ran aground on the Raroia atoll in Polynesia after 101 days in open waters. Heyerdahl had disproved the skeptics who had insisted such a journey was impossible.

“BORDERS? I HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE. BUT I HAVE HEARD THEY EXIST IN THE MINDS OF SOME PEOPLE.”
– THOR HEYERDAHL

As human beings we are all the same, we all face the same practical challenges in life. This was one of Thor Heyerdahl’s fundamental beliefs with respect to humanity. Furthermore, he believed in the capability of people to live and work together harmoniously, all ethnic, political and religious differences notwithstanding.

For more visit http://www.kon-tiki.no/

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