On this day in 1947, the wood raft Kon-Tiki (’White Chieftain’) captained by Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl anchored at Raroia Atoll located 460 miles northeast of Tahiti. Heyerdahl and his five-person team sailed from Callao, Peru on a balsa wood raft whose design and construction were based on the rafts built by early South American Indians. Heyerdahl set sail to prove his theory that Polynesian islands were colonized by prehistoric South Americans who reached the islands by sea. The Norwegian scholar and adventurer travelled 101 days and 4,300 miles when finally went ashore at Raroia Atoll.
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