Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian adventurer, ethnographic and archaeologist, and the manliest and most insane scientist ever. Along with his balls of steel, he was the realest equivalent of Indiana Jones. Also, he was kind of a hippie.
After he married his first wife, the couple went on honeymoon to the Polynesian Islands. But unlike other sissy couples who go to the civilized French Polynesia, the Heyerdahls moved to Fatu-Hiva instead, which was mostly inhibited by cannibals.
They then continued to live in a hut they built by themselves. At first it was paradise - having unpolluted river water and fresh fruit from the trees. However, reality retaliated in the shape of elephantiasis-bearing mosquitoes, which didn't matter because, eventually, the local population gastronomical tastes drove them into living in a fucking cave.
When they did return to Norway, Heyerdahl decided to join the war effort and fight some Nazis.
When the war was over, Heyerdahl was back to studying the culture of he Polynesian Islands he (still) admired. Following an ancient Inca legend about "white gods" who, after being massacered, fled the country of Peru westward across the Pacific using rafts, Heyerdahl asserted that these same people, following their leader Kon-Tiki, reached the Polynesian Islands and settled there. He first tried to prove his hypothesis by showing a connection between old ancient stories and cultures of the Polynesian people to those of the Incas of pre-Columbian times. While everybody told him it was impossible for the so-called white-gods to travel the 5000 miles of sea by a simple raft which, for one, is impossible to navigate, and secondly, would not survive the open-sea weather, Heyerdahl insisted that it was possible. When that failed, and everyone ignored him he tried to prove it by other means. Insane means. Instead of the boring normal approach of writing a book, or giving lectures, Heyerdahl decided to go on a raft and prove his theory. He formed an expedition of six people including himself. The group built an ancient Pae-Pae raft made out of balsa wood, complete with square sails, and set off from Peru. The Kon Tiki (which was the name they gave the raft) sailed for 101 days before successfully reaching the Polynesian Islands.
completely fucking insane
Along the way the crew caught all kinds of fish, including flying fish, dolphins, yellowfish tuna. And some sharks. Which they caught with their bare hands.
They actually made a sport out of it. How we wish we were kidding.
As if one crazy suicide mission wasn't enough, in an attempt to prove possibility of trans-Atlantic voyages in ancient times, Heyerdahl built a papyrus boat (yes, papyrus - the stuff they made paper out of) he named Ra, and attempted to cross the Atlantic ocean from Morocco. After this attempt failed, and the ship got wrecked in the middle of the ocean, you'd think he'd have figured out he was actually wrong.
Nope. Heyerdahl was not discouraged, and simply built another one, Ra II, which crossed the Atlantic successfully. Holy shit.
Ah well, we'll just make another one.
Heyerdahl made other expeditions to the Galapagos Island and to the Easter Island.
And another reed-boat expedition across the Indian ocean, which was called the Tigris Expedition. This one ended when Heyerdahl and the crew decided to deliberately burn the ship in protest of the wars raging on the sides of the Red-Sea and Horn of Africa.