Thor Heyerdahl


    Thor Heyerdahl Google Doodle

    Today October 6, 2014 Google is paying homage to the Adventurer Thor Heyerdahl. Thor Heyerdahl a Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer with a background in biology, zoology, botany, and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, in which he sailed 8,000 km (5,000 mi) across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands.


    Thor Heyerdahl was born October 6, 1914 in Larvik, Norway and he passed away in Colla Micheri, Italy at the age of 87 on the 18th of April 2002. The Kon-Tiki expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures. This was linked to a diffusionist model of cultural development. Thor Heyerdahl subsequently made other voyages designed to demonstrate the possibility of contact between widely separated ancient peoples. He was appointed a government scholar in 1984.

    Anthropologists continue to believe, based on linguistic, physical, and genetic evidence, that Polynesia was settled from west to east, migration having begun from the Asian mainland. There are controversial indications, though, of some sort of South American/Polynesian contact, most notably in the fact that the South American sweet potato is served as a dietary staple throughout much of Polynesia.

    Blood samples taken in 1971 and 2008 from Easter Islanders without any European or other external descent were analysed in a 2011 study, which concluded that the evidence supported some aspects of Heyerdahl’s hypothesis.

    However, this result has been questioned because of the possibility of contamination by South Americans after European contact with the islands. Thor Heyerdahl attempted to counter the linguistic argument with the analogy that, guessing the origin of African-Americans, he would prefer to believe that they came from Africa, judging from their skin colour, and not from England, judging from their speech.

    Thor Heyerdahl built yet another reed boat, Tigris, which was intended to demonstrate that trade and migration could have linked Mesopotamia with the Indus Valley Civilization in what is now Pakistan. Tigris was built in Iraq and sailed with its international crew through the Persian Gulf to Pakistan and made its way into the Red Sea. After about five months at sea and still remaining seaworthy, the Tigris was deliberately burnt in Djibouti, on April 3, 1978, as a protest against the wars raging on every side in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa. In Thor Heyerdahl Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, he explained his reasons

    Today we burn our proud ship … to protest against inhuman elements in the world of 1978 … Now we are forced to stop at the entrance to the Red Sea. Surrounded by military airplanes and warships from the world’s most civilized and developed nations, we have been denied permission by friendly governments, for reasons of security, to land anywhere, but in the tiny, and still neutral, Republic of Djibouti. Elsewhere around us, brothers and neighbors are engaged in homicide with means made available to them by those who lead humanity on our joint road into the third millennium.

    To the innocent masses in all industrialized countries, we direct our appeal. We must wake up to the insane reality of our time … We are all irresponsible, unless we demand from the responsible decision makers that modern armaments must no longer be made available to people whose former battle axes and swords our ancestors condemned.

    Our planet is bigger than the reed bundles that have carried us across the seas, and yet small enough to run the same risks unless those of us still alive open our eyes and minds to the desperate need of intelligent collaboration to save ourselves and our common civilization from what we are about to convert into a sinking ship.

    In the years that followed, Heyerdahl was often outspoken on issues of international peace and the environment. The Tigris was crewed by eleven men: Thor Heyerdahl (Norway), Norman Baker (USA), Carlo Mauri (Italy), Yuri Senkevich (USSR), Germán Carrasco (Mexico), Hans Petter Bohn (Norway), Rashad Nazar Salim (Iraq), Norris Brock (USA), Toru Suzuki (Japan), Detlef Zoltze (Germany), and Asbjørn Damhus (Denmark).


    Thor Heyerdahl also investigated the mounds found on the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean. There, he found sun-oriented foundations and courtyards, as well as statues with elongated earlobes. Heyerdahl believed that these finds fit with his theory of a seafaring civilization which originated in what is now Sri Lanka, colonized the Maldives, and influenced or founded the cultures of ancient South America and Easter Island. His discoveries are detailed in his book, “The Maldive Mystery.”

    In subsequent years, Thor Heyerdahl was involved with many other expeditions and archaeological projects. He remained best known for his boat-building, and for his emphasis on cultural diffusionism. He died, aged 87, from a brain tumor. After receiving the diagnosis he prepared for dying by refusing to eat or take medication.

    The Norwegian government granted Thor Heyerdahl the honor of a state funeral in the Oslo Cathedral on April 26, 2002. His cremated remains lie in the garden of his family’s home in Colla Micheri.

    The life and legacy of Thor Heyerdahl is far bigger than the scope of this article, and we highly recommend that you read the Wikipedia pages on Thor Heyerdahl for a more in-depth overview of the life and legacy of Thor Heyerdahl the Great Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer.

    About the Thor Heyerdahl Google Doodle


    The Thor Heyerdahl Google Doodle appeared on the homepage of Google on October 6, 2014. The Thor Heyerdahl Google Doodle was displayed in Indonesia, Cambodia, Russia, Japan, India, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Poland, Greece, South Africa, Argentina, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Iceland, Croatia and in the United Kingdom. Interestingly the Thor Heyerdahl Google Doodle was not displayed in New-Zealand, Australia, Canada and in the United States of America.

    In the Google Doodle one can see several of the things that Thor Heyerdahl was about, and we here at 3D Car Shows, believe that the Doodler responsible for the Thor Heyerdahl Doodle did a stunning job in his/her representation of the Thor Heyerdahl life and legacy.