When Thor Heyerdahl presented his theory that the Polynesian Islands were settled by South Americans, the critics scoffed. No way their primitive rafts would last in the open Pacific, said the experts. No shrinking violet he, Heyerdahl decided to prove it could be done. He and his crew built a raft of nine large balsa trees and rope. Not a single nail, rivet or screw; Kon Tiki was built using only technologies available at the time.
Did they make it? Well…Heyerdahl’s documentary of the voyage won an Oscar in 1951. Ok…sorry for the false promise. The entire video has been taken down! But here is one of the coolest parts. Also, here’s a 2012 documentary about a voyage undertaken in more modern times. Apologies!