Throughout human history there have been many interesting moments and fascinating stories. Out of all of them, I reckon one of the most amazing is the story about how homo sapiens settled on remote islands across the Pacific.
Around two or three thousand years ago, from the shores of what is today Papua New Guinea, they sailed in the simplest and tiniest of boats, generation after generation, century after century, to populate island after island, apparently even reaching the shores of South America – 15,000 kilometers away!
Archeological research of this great eastward emigration is a little unconvincing so far, and anyway, surely many of the traces of mankind from back then will have been washed away or submerged under the rising ocean levels and lost forever. However – hurray for the geneticists! – modern-day investigations scientific alchemy now give us a detailed picture of the timing and direction of the two main branches of the eastward exodus and building up of the populations of Oceania.
The first wave of migration (a quick glance at trusty old Wikipedia tells me) took place some 30 to 50 thousand years ago from southeast Asia via modern-day Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, to Australia and the islands of Melanasia. Now, I’m no anthropologist, but something tells me that back then they probably didn’t need a boat to get to Vanuatu or even Fiji – they could have walked, or paddled ). The sea level was much lower then than it is today, and the ocean never gets that deep round these parts (as you can see on Google Maps) anyway. I reckon they didn’t make it further to Samoa as they weren’t sailors.