Inspired by reports from Spanish Conquistadors of Inca rafts, native legends and archaeological evidence suggesting contact between South America and Polynesia, the Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl. made a balsa wood raft journey across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to the Polynesian islands in 1947. The raft was named Kon-Tiki, another name for the Inca sun god Viracocha.
A dramatized film version of the voyage received many awards in 2012.
Heyerdahl’s popular book The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas was translated into 70 languages.