The balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki was built as a copy of a prehistoric South American vessel.
The Norwegian zoologist Thor Heyerdahl tried to circulate his theory of American colonization of the Pacific. However, the scientific community did not accept his ideas and this is the reason why he decided to prove this theory in real life.
In April of 1947 he, and his five crewmembers, set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki balsa raft built in a traditional style. They drifted 4300 miles during 101 days and ended up in the Tuamotus archipelago.
This successful voyage proved that the islands in Polynesia were within the range of this type of prehistoric South American vessel. A documentary of the voyage won an Oscar in 1951.
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