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Thor, God of Water by Nigel Roth

Dernière mise à jour : 11 mai 2021

It's 1947.

Ferrari and Saab debut their first cars, Edwin Land introduces the world to something called the instant camera, and the first prototype AK-47 is built, to history’s eternal detriment.

Meanwhile, Thor Heyerdahl sails five-thousand miles across the Pacific, in a raft built by hand from balsa wood, from South America to the Tuamotu Islands.

Why did he do that, you may ask, while sitting comfortably in your reading chair, with the gentle breeze from your slightly-open living room window fanning your evening martini.

He did that because he believed.

He believed in the ability of ancient civilizations to undertake astonishing sea journeys that would explain the similarities between their societal and environmental infrastructure, cultures and lifestyles, religious beliefs and traditions.

He called his raft Kon-tiki, after the high priest and sun-king of the legendary mythical fair-skinned people of Peru. They disappeared in time, but not before leaving those staggering collection ruins on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Heyerdahl’s theory was met with the same derision as Alfred Wegener’s idea that the Earth’s continents used to be a solid, single mass that drifted apart, or Charles Robert Darwin’s bizarre musings on the origin of our disbelieving species, or Nicolaus Copernicus’ Earth-around-the-Sun devilishness, or even Joseph Lister’s crazy antiseptic notion which The Lancet published strong warnings against.