On a small raft “Kon-Tiki”. Journey as the first global reality show

On a small raft “Kon-Tiki”. Journey as the first global reality show

28 APR 70 years ago, Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl went on a makeshift raft from South America to Polynesia across the Pacific ocean.

The journey of Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl on a raft across the Pacific ocean is now considered the classic event in the study of the planet and human history.

However, at the time, the journey has not only brought many discoveries and made the official science to reconsider its view on a number of things, it is, in fact, was the first reality show, which was 101 days and watched the whole world. And after books, movies and documentaries about this expedition it can rightly be considered a true cultural phenomenon.

“Wake up, you’ll all drown!”

It all started with the fact that Thor Heyerdahl put forward a bold hypothesis. In his opinion, the Islands of Polynesia were inhabited by immigrants from America and not from Asia, as did the official science. The scientific community has raised the Norwegian colleague to laugh. His treatises and proof no one takes seriously. A particularly outspoken skeptics decided to take Heyerdahl on the weak. Like, if you’re so smart — build a raft and try to repeat the route, which is supposedly easily done the same for the ancient Incas.

It is here that the world of show started. When it became clear that the scientist accepted the challenge and in full swing preparing for the adventurous journey, these same skeptics with the rest of the scientific world and journalists tried to dissuade him from this venture.

“It would be mass suicide! Come to your senses, you’ll all drown!”, they said the scientist.

But he already “bit between their teeth”.

Lolita was washed overboard

Preparations for the expedition were complicated by the fact that Thor Heyerdahl initially could not manage to find sponsors and recruit a team of five people. Helped “viral marketing”. The idea of the scientist began to write in Newspapers and sponsors were found. With a desperate scientist on an expedition went another 5 people: a Navigator and artist Eric Hesselberg, cook, Bengt Danielsson, two radio operator: Knut Haugland about Torstein Roby, as well as technician, engineer and meteorologist Herman Watzinger.

The seventh member of the expedition was a South African parrot Lolita.

Lolita, however, was washed away during one of the storms.

As soon as the raft of balsa logs was built, to the word, authentic, and without a single nail, the travelers went way.

It’s Showtime!

In addition to scientific observations and experiments, the team led the stream of their adventures almost live. Radio operators almost every day passed ashore summaries of meteorological observations, ocean currents, and so on. In addition, one of the radio operators led a detailed travel diary.

Were recorded every detail.

One day, tired of scribbling, the first radio operator exclaimed in despair: “I swear that all this correspondence weighs ten pounds!”.

The second radio operator just calmly corrected him: “Twelve. I weigh”.

Well, to absolutely not to miss anything and make the most of your trip high, team members recorded it on camera. The book is based on recordings and a movie based on the documentary filming was supposed to be the culmination of the show.

While the whole world was content to messages from “Kon-Tiki”.

“They’ve drowned?”, — asked with glowing eyes alone.

“Not yet!”, — happily replied the other.

People in different countries betting, bettors, looking forward to the denouement.

Not waiting for?! And we sailed!

7 August 1947, breaking several thousand miles away, the raft approached the Atoll Raroia within an island Tuamotu archipelago. But travelers there is no one waiting. Did no — the island was uninhabited. This week the team trampled on this piece of land, until he accidentally swam under the boat with the locals.

When the travelers got to the mainland to civilization, it has become a global sensation. And the beginning of the triumph. The book of Thor Heyerdahl “Expedition “Kon-Tiki” was translated into 70 languages and sold over 50 million copies. Well, mounted the traveler documentary “Kon-Tiki” in 1952 was awarded the prize “Oscar”.

This gave rise to a feature film about the legendary journey also received numerous nominations and awards. And Thor Heyerdahl gained not only the recognition of the scientific world. He became a world star. He completed many journeys, written 20 books. And, of course, among his fans, he has gained a lot of followers. Only, alas, not everyone was equally able to successfully complete their expedition, the Heyerdahl.

Some repeated the fate of the parrot Lolita.