The Norwegian explorer and archaeologist experimental voyages amazed the world's oceans, during which sought answers to human colonization of the globe.
Although scientists later showed that the majority was wrong, his courage to overcome primitive kocábkách rough sea for months aroused admiration.
Thor Heyerdahl was born on October 6, 1914 in Narvik, Norway. The mother, who was the director of the local museum, led him to the love of nature. Boy playing sports with enthusiasm bivouacked during the harsh northern winters in the mountains. He studied zoology and geography at the University of Oslo, but I did not enjoy it. It seemed too academic, book.
Naked in the middle of the forestHe decided to try to find the roots of some civilizations. In 1936 he went with his wife Liv on the island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas archipelago in the Pacific. At this oasis away from civilization interested him habits of indigenous peoples of Polynesia. However, there lived an unusual way for Europeans: naked, in a cave and lived on what nature gave ourselves to them.
The natives told them that their ancestors came from the east over the sea.
The young man began to think about how this idea could. He realized that Polynesians have many commonalities with the inhabitants of the Pacific coast of South America. Perhaps the ancients ancestors sailed away Marquesas population.
In 1941, it published the first article.But the Second World War began and he enlisted in the Free Norwegian Army. Along with several other British aircraft landed him in the mountains near the heavy water plant at Rjukan. Heavy water was needed to produce a nuclear bomb. The Allies wanted the Germans to prevent built it, so several attempts to destroy Rjukan. Heyerdahl was a member of one such sabotage squads.
Adventures on the Kon-TikiHeyerdahlově hypothesis of human settlement of the Pacific from South America, scientists laughed: Nonsense! Delirium amateur!
The young man did not give up. Got sponsors and friends of the war. The jeep, which gave them the American army, drove into the mountains in Ecuador. They defeated there some balsa trees, whose wood is very lightweight. The river is splavili to the ocean and harbor built in the nine tribes raft. They used the engravings from the 18th century in Peru. During the construction did not use a single nail, a single metal or other modern means. Strains of hemp rope tied to a raft built of bamboo shack as a cabin. Canvas created from burlap, which painted a big picture of God Kon-Tics, the son of ancient Incan Sun.
Such vessels had never seen. Building on the Peruvian port aroused tremendous attention. Most people considered it folly. Fell bets if these adventurers, five Norwegians and one Swede, drown when putting to sea. The members of the expedition had to sign a deed in which he confirmed that the Peruvian Navy has nothing in common.
Kon-Tiki raft sailed under the Norwegian flag April 28, 1947 the city of Callao. The first fifty nautical miles him back out on the open sea ship Peruvian Navy. Then he moved himself.
In addition it sails powered Humboldt current. Daily offended about eighty kilometers. He resisted and sea storms. At the sight of the atoll of Puka-Puka she arrived on 30 July. The Polynesians crew met at the island Angatau August 4, but could not land there. After four days raft ran aground near the island in the archipelago of Tuamotu Raroia. After a few days there they found the natives of the neighboring island. The Tahiti is later along with the remains of the raft delivered the French ship Tamara.
Kon-Tiki traveled approximately 7,960 km in 101 days. Heyerdahl proved that the Pacific could settle people from South America. However, not that it really happened. In 2011 blood samples taken Polynesians showed their affinity with the inhabitants of Southeast Asia.
About this adventure Heyerdahl wrote a book Kon-Tiki Expedition: The raft across the South Seas. It became a bestseller. Translated it into seventy languages and printed 50 million copies. Also, a film that recorded during the voyage was successful. Raft Kon-Tiki museum exhibit of the same name in Oslo.
Ra in his boat across the AtlanticHeyerdahl was convinced that in ancient times, people sailed across the sea in flimsy boats more often than you can imagine today. He said that a civilization on the banks of Africa and America among themselves to maintain relations.
In Peru, Chad and Egypt examined drawings, sculptures and reliefs that pictures presented vessels similar to those reeds. He studied culture, which for generations processed papyrus. He decided that the papyrus lets build a boat.
The port of Safi in Morocco had brought 500 bundles of papyrus from Lake Tana in Ethiopia. It weighed nearly 12 tons. No one knew how to build such a ship. Heyerdahl Björn Landströmem painted it and had to build three natives of Chad, who built small boats to sail on the lake.
Boat Ra (the Egyptians called the god of the Sun) sailed 25 May 1969 from the port of Safi in Morocco. This time, the Norwegian explorer crew chose from many countries: USA, Soviet Union, Italy, Mexico, Egypt and Chad.
"The path itself on the first expedition was a great adventure," he recalled Heyerdahl. "First we broke the oar. The weather was not nice and gradually we began to notice that the structure of the boat should be a little better because the ship slowly began to separate initially small pieces of papyrus and then bigger and bigger. In addition, the ship's stern began to sink into the sea. "
In July 1969, the ship behind 54 days sailing and 5,000 km. Offended two-thirds of the planned route. Near Caribbean islands rescued her crew cruise yacht.