Thor Heyerdahl - Sea Routes To Polynesia

Feasible Ocean Routes in Pre-Columbian Times

Page 4/6


During the last decades it has been an accepted premise among the New World anthropologist that North and South America have been successfully isolated from the rest of the world, but for a leakage across the Bering Straits. An ocean has pathways as alive as a river. The Japan Current loop through the North Pacific past Hawaii, travels down the coast of California and then back towards the Philippines above the equator. A portion of this current continues down the west coast Panama to Ecuador and Peru before travelling back towards Polynesia.
Currents in the Pacific
Currents in the Pacific
Thor Heyerdahl sea routes to Polynesia
Route used by the Incas
The great explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl used this southern current to sail the Kon Tiki raft on his 1947 epic voyage from Peru to the Tuamotu Islands. The dead distance between the point of departure and the point of arrival is approximately 4000 miles, and yet the raft only crossed 1000 miles of surface water. If another primitive craft had been able to travel with the same speed in an equally straight line, but in the opposite direction, it would have traversed about 7000 miles of surface water to reach Peru.

The reason is that the ocean surface itself was displaced about 3000 miles, or about 50 degrees of the Earth's circumference, during the time needed for the Kon Tiki crossing. Put another way it means that the Islands are located only about 1000 miles from Peru, whereas Peru is located 7000 miles from the Islands. The current travels at about 40 miles per 24 hours, and if the craft is sailing at 60 miles per 24 hours, it means that it would have travelled a 100 miles in one day, and the duration of the voyage would be 40 days. Travelling the opposite way at the same speed against the current it will only travel 20 miles per 24 hours and thus need 200 days to make the voyage. If the craft was only travelling 40 miles per 24 hours it would sail from Peru to the islands in 50 days, but at that speed going in the opposite direction it would never leave the islands.


The Statues of Easter Island
Coconuts on Cocos Island
Balsa Raft in Aboriginal Navigation of Peru & Ecuador
Feasible Ocean Routes in Pre-Columbian Times
The Kon-Tiki
The Kon-Tiki Film
Easter Island Section
Bradshaw Foundation

bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates

Email

First Name

Last Name

Country

Travel
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation