To Boldly Go…

When five Norwegians and one Swede cross the Pacific Ocean in 1947 from Peru to Easter Island, they set out to prove that it was possible that the inhabitants of Easter Island descended from native South Americans, probably Incas, and crossed the ocean in small rafts made of freshly cut balsa wood logs roped together with creepers. The leader of the expedition, Thor Heyerdahl, wrote at the end of the journey that he believed in his heart that the Incas settled Easter Island. When the raft safely reached its journey’s end, Heyerdahl had proved it was possible to sail from Peru to Easter Island in a tiny balsa raft, living off the fruits of the sea. Later DNA showed that the inhabitants of Easter Island share the same DNA as people from Polynesia, not from South America.

That is the trouble with proof. It is almost always impossible to prove anything absolutely. Even the DNA “evidence” is not conclusive, and the fact that the present inhabitants of Easter Island have Polynesian DNA does not mean that the Incas did not settle on Easter Island; they could have been wiped out by subsequent wars, as Heyerdahl later speculated.

What did Heyerdahl really prove with his Kon Tiki expedition? Perhaps it was no more than a small group of very determined people can achieve extraordinary things with very limited resources. But that in itself tells us something about human nature, the curiosity of humans, the overwhelming desire of humans to be safe while exploring new lands, and possibly the fact that some humans have only been safe because they explored and settled in new lands. Thus we see historical and present day migrations of all kinds in many parts of the world.

This mixture of curiosity and a desire to preserve and enhance life is a feature of humanity; sometimes curiosity can lead to death, but humans often take the chance. As a result humans have been very successful in colonising this planet; they are the most successful of all species.

But space on this small planet is running out as humans breed more humans and live longer. It is time to turn our curiosity and our desire to find safety to places outside this planet, perhaps to enable some of us to leave the place which is our home but which we are increasingly making uninhabitable.

2 Responses

  1. Crossing large bodies of water with large bodies of natural food in it is not what you might think is something hard to do, the only limiting factor is drinkable fluid, from water baring fruits this is also easier than carrying water that contains little nourishment, unlike fruit with many beneficial ingredients.

    Watch this film and discover how an old model boat mentioned has already circumnavigated the globe, using the stars in many cases.

    Humans have always adapted to nature, and living closer to it normally live longer healthier lives too, today we are not living longer as the theory goes, but dying of more new cancers than has ever been seen, is this instigated, some say it is our food for profits over life itself, I would agree.

    Carvings of sweet corn within an arch inside Rosslyn Chapel, cut and laid down before Columbus sailed is another clue, to what is official history, and we know who gets to write this stuff don’t we.

    The further we move away from nature the easier we are to be fooled it seems.

    • The Kon Tiki expedition took lots of drinking water, but half way through the voyage the undrunk water was then undrinkable. They got water from the fish they ate and from rainfall. At one stage they drank diluted sea water as they had a salt craving. I agree with your theory about living closer to nature.

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