Would you cross the Pacific Ocean on a raft like this? Thor Heyerdahl did

The Norwegian's 1947 voyage is the subject of a new movie, and you can climb aboard the vessel used in the filming this weekend in Battery Park City.

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  • Photograph: Michael Loccisano

    The raft used in the film Kon-Tiki, now on view in Battery Park City.

  • Photograph: Michael Loccisano

    The raft used in the film Kon-Tiki, now on view in Battery Park City.

  • Photograph: Michael Loccisano

    The raft used in the film Kon-Tiki, now on view in Battery Park City.

  • Photograph: Michael Loccisano

    The raft used in the film Kon-Tiki, now on view in Battery Park City.

  • Photograph: Michael Loccisano

    The raft used in the film Kon-Tiki, now on view in Battery Park City.

Photograph: Michael Loccisano

The raft used in the film Kon-Tiki, now on view in Battery Park City.


Have you heard of the Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl? If not, prepare to be wowed by an incredible story, the basis for the film Kon-Tiki, due for release April 26. In a nutshell, Heyerdahl and a skeleton crew sailed a balsa-wood raft across the Pacific in 1947 to support his theory that South Americans were the first people to colonize Polynesia.

In case you're having trouble imagining the raft, the replica used in the movie has gone on view in the North Cove Marina (South End Ave at Liberty St; 10am–5pm, free; through Apr 22) in Battery Park City. The public can clamber onboard to get a sense of how batshit crazy this idea was.

(Kind of a spoiler coming up.) And in case you have trouble imagining how terrifying being on a raft in the middle of the ocean would be, below is actual footage from an incident on the voyage. The clip's from the 1950 Academy Award–winning documentary Kon-Tiki, viewable at the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo. We recommend reading Heyerdahl's biography on the museum's website. Dude's like a real-life Indiana Jones, without the ill-conceived sequels.

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Users say

2 comments
Jose V
Jose V

Here I am way out in the atlantic 

Jose V
Jose V

no but I will cross it in a badass raft like this miamioceanrafting.com