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One learns more from listening than speaking

Few modern men have so effectively combined an interest in science with a spirit of adventure as Norwegian explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl – aka The Kon-Tiki Man – did.

Thor made journeys of discovery around the world, all aimed at supporting his belief that early humans travelled and made contact with other civilisations much earlier than had been previously thought.

Rather than simply leaving his argument to stand, Thor aimed to prove his theory definitively in 1947. He sailed 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean on the kind of simple, hand-built raft that people might have made long sea voyages by in ancient times.

His famous Kon-Tiki expedition, which made headlines around the world, saw him successfully travel from Peru in South America to the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia, by sea.

The voyage became legendary and also ensured that Thor Heyerdahl is now himself considered a historical figure in his own right. He continued to travel and research how ancient explorers influenced culture, language and communities around the world until not long before his death. But he lies at rest closer to home, with his ashes buried in the family garden in Colla Micheri, Italy.