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If the Azores Were Found by the Vikings, Why Were They Lost?
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From Science:

Vikings in paradise: Were the Norse the first to settle the Azores?

Seafarers may have come and gone from lush archipelago more than 1000 years ago
4 OCT 20213:00 PM BYMICHAEL PRICE

In 1427, the Portuguese navigator Diogo de Silves first set foot on an uninhabited, Sun-kissed island with white sand beaches, crystal blue bays, and dramatic cliffs, proclaiming it Santa Maria Island.

… According to a new study of lake sediment cores, however, the Portuguese may not have been the first people to reach the island paradise: Viking seafarers may have arrived some 700 years earlier than de Silves and his crew. Any Vikings were long gone by the time Portuguese sailors arrived, the authors note, but some Norse rodent stowaways may have left a lasting genetic mark on the island.

Conclusive archaeological evidence of humans in the Azores is sparse and only dates back to the early 15th century. In recent years, a few studies hinted at even earlier occupation, although it wasn’t clear who these earlier settlers were or when they arrived. About 10 years ago, Pedro Raposeiro, an ecologist at the University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, and colleagues set out to collect cylindrical cores of sediment from five lakebeds around the archipelago as part of an effort to detail the region’s climate history. As particles in the air settle to the bottom of the lake, they form datable layers. The researchers suspected they would find signs of human disturbance—pollen from nonnative crops, spores from fungi that grow on livestock dung—dating back to the early 1400s. And they did.

But the researchers were surprised to find these signals extended even further back in time. In a sedimentary layer dating to between 700 C.E. and 850 C.E. taken from Peixinho Lake on the Azores’s Pico Island, the researchers saw a sudden uptick of an organic compound called 5-beta-stigmastanol, which is found in the feces of ruminants such as cows and sheep. They also saw an increase in charcoal particles and a dip in the abundance of native tree pollens, perhaps pointing to humans cutting down and burning trees to clear space for livestock to graze, Raposeiro says.

A similar signal shows up in cores from Caldeirão Lake on the Azores’s Corvo Island dating to about 100 years later. Pollen from a nonnative ryegrass shows up in layers from Pico Island dating to about 1150, and at 1300 on São Miguel Island, also part of the archipelago.

But if the Norse or somebody else got to the Azores once or twice or three times before, why weren’t they still there when the Portuguese definitively arrived? The Azores look like survival on easy mode: they are in the middle of the Gulf Stream, so the temperature never freezes and never gets over 90 degrees, there is lots of rain, and the rich volcanic soil is fertile. There are currently about a quarter of a million Azoreans.

So, if a colony had been established there before the Portuguese, why wasn’t it still there in 1427?

Perhaps an all male crew was shipwrecked on an island and survived for years or decades (not killing each other over women like the Bounty mutineers did on Pitcairn Island), long enough to leave traces for contemporary scientists to find? But not enough survivors to build a ship and get home?

 
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  1. BenKenobi says:

    So be it!
    Let me rot in anonymous rags… than Unzian pomp.
    I won’t quake and bow down before the sycophants you have around you, Sailer.
    [names that do not deserve to be mentioned]
    Do you not accept gifts as the Son of Trump?
    Then why do you accept these vain flatteries!?
    What freedom is this, to bow before you?
    How can you, so obscure — compare yourself to Trump!?
    Trump hoodwinked the entire world, have you hoodwinked the entire world?
    I mean, did you plan the alt-right swindle while you were being spanked on your bottom at National Review?
    Never would you have taken covid shills and hysterics as your allies and have us post among them as equals in the culture war! Are we not good enough any longer!?
    I remember a time when we could post upon this blog as men, and banter in the comments. None of this goodthink, this orthodoxy.
    I remember a time when we Simpsons-posted. When we wrestled over classic rock ratings.
    And now you white-list them?
    Take a no-recent-history shill and make him your queen?
    Doesn’t your great pride fear mainstream doxxing anymore?
    This commentariat… this commentariat is YOUR BLOOD OLD MAN!!!
    YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT IT!!!
    I DON’T SERVE YOUR PURPOSE!?
    WHERE WAS I THE PAST SEVEN YEARS!?
    ARE YOU TOO GREAT TO REMEMBER THE MEN WHO BROUGHT YOU HERE!?
    WHAT A TYRANT YOU ARE! EVIL TYRANT!
    DESPOT! HEAR WHAT I SAY!
    YOU AND YOUR BARBARIAN WEB HOST LIVE IN SHAME!!!!!!

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
  2. The Vikings knew how to build ships, so that’s out. And they were adventurers, not farmers, so quietly settling down would not have been their bag. And, as non-Christians, living a life of contemplation was also out.

    Likely, they got there and used it as a pirate base to raid the west coast of Portugal, France, and Spain (and perhaps Ireland and England as well), and then left for home once they got rich. Remember: the Vikings were largely womenless, landless, poor dudes looking for booty and booty from their raids — because they were denied this back home. The Azores are a fine little paradise, but with no women or gold to steal, the Vikings weren’t going to stay—they Vikings weren’t builders, they were stealers.

  3. Perhaps an all male crew was shipwrecked on an island…

    First of all, guys, you need women, so please try to understand them and accommodate them. You won’t get very far without them.

    Second, could “The Vikings” be the poster boys for missed opportunity? You know, they are supposed to have made it all the way to America before it was called that, but they didn’t make any use of it. Funny that.

    Oh, but they did colonize Iceland. Well, congratulations, boys.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @HammerJack
  4. The welfare checks from the mainland stopped arriving?

  5. @R.G. Camara

    But Vikings also settled Iceland and even Greenland, and there was nothing to raid out there. I’d rather live on the biggest island of the Azores than on Iceland.

  6. prosa123 says:

    There once was an old whore of the Azores,
    Whose c*nt was all covered with sores.
    Even rats in the street
    Avoided the green meat
    Which hung in festoons from her drawers.

    • Replies: @Polistra
    , @SunBakedSuburb
  7. If you look at an atlas of global wind patterns, there are frequently cyclonic winds over the N. Atlantic. So Vikings could ride westerly flow out to Iceland and Greenland, then go a bit further south and follow easterly winds back to Scandinavia.

    Once you reach the Azores, you gotta follow the trade winds all the way over to the Caribbean before you can loop back across the Atlantic. Perhaps that was too much of a journey for the Viking seamanship?

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Thanks: Almost Missouri, Gabe Ruth
  8. IHTG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Too far away from everything?

  9. Cortes says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Why wouldn’t they have used the same colonisation technique used for Iceland: carrying off women captured or purchased elsewhere? Toasty life on the Azores vs the charms of Iceland or Greenland or the Faeroes? Hmm. Tough choice.

    • Replies: @Polistra
  10. It is becoming clearer that “The Vikings” essentially wandered around the water the way people did in the Pacific.

    You know, they found islands and stuff.

    For whatever reason (maybe because they didn’t think to bring women with them) they barely colonized any of the places they discovered.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    , @LP5
  11. @R.G. Camara

    A Danish website on vikings founding Dublin (among other ) town

    https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/professions/education/the-viking-age-geography/the-vikings-in-the-west/ireland/the-city-of-dublin

    what type of timber in the Azores? could the Vikings work with it ? One would expect so…..

    • Replies: @Daniel H
  12. niceland says:

    Sailing from Norway to Iceland was no easy task and often involved being lost at sea for weeks. Iceland is 103.000 km², the Azores total 2.300 km² and are even further out off the European coast and make a small target to hit.

    A failed trip to the Azores was probably the end of the crew.

  13. I wonder what the minimum viable population for a fairly isolated (I’m assuming) colony would be? Did they need ten pairs of men/women to make a go of it, or 200? Maybe there were places they could get to and even live on for a time, but functional distance from home (and thus a larger population of potential mates) using existing technology made colonization infeasible. Just speculating.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  14. Nimrod says:

    Why are we assuming the first colonists of the Azores were Vikings? Aren’t the Guanches also a good candidate?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanches

    The Guanches seem to have been forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the Age of Exploration. The Spaniards wiped them out within a few years of discovering the Canaries, after a series of savage battles between the conquistadores and Guanche warriors. Guanches do not look like stereotypical POC subjects of white Europeans, but they were the original aboriginal victims of colonization. They apparently descend from Berber tribesmen who took to the sea sometime in the first millennium BC, although their native tongue seems to be a language isolate with no demonstrable relationship with any extent Berber languages. Some of their descendants still live in the Canaries.

    I agree that the Vikings’ competence as mariners and farmers; relative success in settling Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland; and excess population, suggests that they would have successfully settled the Azores, if they had known about them.

    But the Guanches presumably had much cruder sailing technology and a much smaller potential population to draw settlers from–and therefore a much smaller interest in leaving Tenerife/the Canary Islands. Admittedly, the Azores are hundreds of miles from the Canaries, but maybe they stopped off at Madeira, too, as in this cruise line map?

    Perhaps these scientists ought to take a closer look at Madeira. The Guanches also tended to conduct burials and other ritual observances in caves. Maybe caves in the Azores and Madeiras are good places to dig to look for evidence of Guanche inhabitation of the islands.

    • Agree: Servant of Gla'aki
    • Thanks: Almost Missouri, ic1000
  15. Daniel H says:
    @Houston 1992

    what type of timber in the Azores? could the Vikings work with it ? One would expect so…..

    My guess is that the Viking could work any wood material that they found into functional sea craft. This was who they were.

    When Cortez conquered Mexico, when he landed on the shores, he famously had all the boats of the expedition dragged a shore and burned. Later they needed boats to subdue the Aztec on the lake ( of course they wouldn’t have dragged the sea ships 500 miles in/upland to the lake, but you get the idea), no problem. Castilian carpenters easily and efficiently constructed worthy boats that did the job. I would expect no less from the Vikings.

    • Agree: Cortes
  16. El Dato says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Oh, but they did colonize Iceland. Well, congratulations, boys.

    Then they get raided by Ottomoans wanting to grab white ass. FAIL.

    • Replies: @Servant of Gla'aki
  17. Polistra says:
    @Cortes

    Seriously, have you ever been to the Azores or Canaries? Why are they such backwaters?

    When visiting the lovely Isle of Madeira, otoh, be sure to stay at Reid’s Palace, where you’ll be treated just like royalty! IF…the price is right.

  18. @Nimrod

    That looks like an interesting cruise.

  19. @Buzz Mohawk

    It is becoming clearer that “The Vikings” essentially wandered around the water the way people did in the Pacific.

    You know, they found islands and stuff.

    You know, it always dumbfounded me that the Polynesians and Vikings could take off onto the ocean the way they did, sometimes sailing a thousand miles or more.

    No way of knowing what (if any) islands they’d find, no way really of storing adequate provisions for journeys of indeterminate length (they must have tired of eating fish), no way of predicting cyclones, etc etc.

    A lot of men must have died, vanished without a trace. Wanderlust!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  20. @NJ Transit Commuter

    That was almost certainly key. Maybe the colonists attempted to get back and perished on the long route home.

    The Vikings found Vinland, too, but they didn’t stay there.

    OT but the US is lucky to be relatively rich in energy supplies. In Europe, natural gas prices are soaring – it’s going to be an expensive winter if it gets cold. Most UK homes are heated by gas, which has been the cheapest fuel for decades. Not any more.

    Yesterday, before that evil Mr Putin made soothing remarks about pumping more gas, and pumping it via Ukraine, a country whose rulers hate his guts, the price for liquid gas deliveries to Asia reached the oil equivalent of \$320/barrel.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2021/oct/07/russia-nord-stream-2-gas-energy-uk-house-prices-markets-ftse-business-live

    Doing the sums is annoying, some use therms, some use BTUs, but todays UK gas price, £2.18 a therm (down from £3.55 at one stage yesterday) still equates I think to £132 a barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) which is \$180 a barrel. That’s MUCH more than the oil price, more than twice as much.

    This is going to cause trouble for Boris, and for all the homeowners facing doubled bills. Domestic energy prices are capped, but wholesale ones aren’t. So gas providers (really middlemen) who didn’t hedge against price rises are going bankrupt at a rate of knots.

    Europeans are going to have to get used to wearing woollen pullovers indoors again.

  21. Anonymous[139] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The Azores are prone to vulcanism (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_disasters_in_the_Azores).

    I couldn’t find any eruption data from the 11th or 12th centuries, but that is the sort of thing that would put anyone off.

    Obviously, Iceland has the same problem but Iceland is 50x larger than the Azores and so a single eruption isn’t going to wipe out your colony.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  22. dearieme says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthaginian_coins_of_Corvo

    Presumably the cores rule out a settlement as early as that?

    As for the maybe-Norse, how about the famous Irish saints who voyaged the North Atlantic on boats of stone?

    Such claims are obvious baloney but the Norse who discovered Iceland found monks already there – who presumably had come from Scotland or Ireland.

    Also https://portuguese-american-journal.com/carthaginian-temples-found-azores/

    • Replies: @Rapparee
  23. @Daniel H

    Building your own boats from whatever materials at hand was standard practice for pre-industrial times.

    (This is how Russians settled/conquered Siberia too.)

    Having access to metal tools is the bigger problem.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  24. @Buzz Mohawk

    First of all, guys, you need women, so please try to understand them and accommodate them. You won’t get very far without them.

    Now see, that’s just your privilege talking. Or would you have us believe that the Vikings weren’t advanced enough to discover genderfluid?

    (Apparently ‘genderfluid’ is some strange substance in the water, originally found in places like Amsterdam and SF, but now practically everywhere.)

    PS: “understand women” lol

  25. @Moral Stone

    I wonder what the minimum viable population for a fairly isolated (I’m assuming) colony would be?

    Back at the dawn of mtDNA archeo-genomics a couple of decades back, I remember hearing that Native Americans all descended from one of only four women to settle and reproduce in the New World, but I haven’t heard anything about this hypothesis since. I don’t know if it was refuted by later research, or just somehow became politically incorrect to mention, or maybe no one finds it very interesting. If true, it would suggest you don’t need a lot of settlers even for huge colonies, but the narrow genetic foundation would help explain why the Indians got hammered by Eurasian diseases a few millennia later.

    ——

    They also saw an increase in charcoal particles and a dip in the abundance of native tree pollens, perhaps pointing to humans cutting down and burning trees to clear space for livestock to graze, Raposeiro says.

    Accustomed as we are nowadays to mechanical help, we forget how much work it used to be to cut down forests and clear pastures. If you doubt it, try removing just one stump from the ground without mechanical help, then consider that you would have to do thousands of these to make suitable cattle pasturage. (Cutting and clearing the trees themselves is plenty of work too of course, but felling trees is hazardous and may annoy your neighbors, so it is less available as a real life test.) Perhaps the Vikings found a way to burn off entire forests, but a general conflagration ought to leave a bit more of a trace than “an increase in charcoal particles”, such as they ought to be seeing a Troy-like layer of blackened everything if the Vikings had done that.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
  26. @Steve Sailer

    I’d rather live on the biggest island of the Azores than on Iceland.

    The Eternal LosAngelino.

    • LOL: slumber_j, TWS
    • Replies: @LP5
  27. Ralph L says:

    They explored with grass seed and cattle but no women? Were they afraid of complaints about the raping and pillaging?

  28. Abe says:

    So, if a colony had been established there before the Portuguese, why wasn’t it still there in 1427. Perhaps an all male crew was shipwrecked on an island…

    In Jared Diamond terms they were missing two key technological ingredients. Sure they had germs and something close enough to pass for steel. But they were without guns (say, a 15th Century invention) and more importantly the early 21st Century discovery that both women can have [email protected] and men can have babies.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  29. Well, the Azores are pretty small. Losing the Azores isn’t like losing Russia.

  30. John says: • Website

    The Azores are comfy? I missed that on my visit. The 2 islands I saw were indeed good on the eyes, and one even had a botanical garden. But for almost as long as these have been inhabited, they have been fled. Azoreans have a long history of emigrating. To Hawaii, Brazil, Venezuela – pretty much anywhere. “Volcanic” may be good for soils if the lava’s been finely divided and leached over a vast length of time; but if “volcanic” means big ugly rocks all over the place, then not so much. And the archipelago is or became, at some point admittedly post-Viking, priest-ridden. You were supposed to be not merely poor but have lots of poor kids too. I’d read that in Portuguese but in Horta itself a local angrily echoed it to me in English.

    I suspect the main reason the Azores remain populated, in the absence of a war or flying boats, is subventions from Lisbon. Although these flyspecks can be deceiving. Madeira (another beauty, by the way – Portuguese is a good hobby because it gives you a reason to visit funky places) does still make madeira. And São Tomé (OK, your hobby can take you too far) had, in 1913, accounted for one-fifth of world cacao production. I am pretty sure it doesn’t do that now. It did have a brewery built by East Germans. Out in the Atlantic, you do what you can.

    Well, this mention of the Azores does remind me of things I posted on Portuguese and Turkish Wikipedia talk tabs: does anyone know if Koca Yusuf did not sink to the bottom after an 1898 mid-ocean shipwreck but rather washed up on the Azores? The story was that this wrestler converted his American winnings to gold, which he wore in a belt, and this stopped being a smart idea when he found himself in the water. As a boy I’d read that in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, then decades later I came across it again. Almost certainly the guy went straight down, but in the 1960s a Turkish writer, excuse me a Turkish poet, published a book with the alternate ending. I did find one of his other books, an unambiguously nonfiction one about late-Ottoman-era wrestling. But it concentrated on Yusuf’s accomplishments in the ring. In which church garden on which Azorean island Yusuf was buried, no one to my knowledge has said.

  31. J.Ross says:

    … why is “sun” capitalized, it’s because it’s black, isn’t it?

  32. I think I’ve figured it out!

    The Vikings weren’t golfers, so they just didn’t understand…

    • LOL: SafeNow
  33. Mr Mox says:
    @Steve Sailer

    They were pining for their fjords. To a Scandinavian, four seasons is a must. And at least one of them must include snow and ice.

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
  34. the researchers saw a sudden uptick of an organic compound called 5-beta-stigmastanol, which is found in the feces of ruminants such as cows and sheep.

    That’s pretty weak evidence for presence of any cows and/or sheep, much less vikings.

    Said compound is produced by breaking down plant phytosterols; there might be natural environments other than sheep guts able to do that. Swamps often stink of s**t and occasionally worse.

    Until they find bones, I’m not buying it.

  35. Anonymous[209] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ll take the harsh north of my ancestors over a lotus land any day of the week and twice on Sundays. But sounds like plenty of other problems, even if it was Vikings.

  36. Altai says:

    But not enough survivors to build a ship and get home?

    Assumes the average guy who was on a longship knew how to build one.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  37. RobertTS says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The Vikings were known to have taken female captives to their most far-flung colonies. Maybe it was logistically easier to bring female bounty to sparse and remote Iceland (and the Azores?) from intermediate territories such as Ireland while their own wives and daughters remained behind in Scandanavia.

  38. Barnard says:
    @Daniel H

    I agree, it also seems unlikely people who found the Azores would have been either unaware of the Iberian peninsula or unable to build ships out of what they found in the Azores that could take them there. Maybe they tried to setup a temporary settlement and thought they would keep sailing west and didn’t make it.

  39. Wilkey says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Back at the dawn of mtDNA archeo-genomics a couple of decades back, I remember hearing that Native Americans all descended from one of only four women to settle and reproduce in the New World.

    You’re off quite a bit. mtDNA is handed down directly from mother to child. Those four women were simply the only women whose mtDNA lineage survived across ~15,000 years. There could have been lots of mothers who had surviving offspring but whose mitochondrial DNA lineage was lost along the way. The number of surviving lineages from a given point in time can only go down. Eventually it may fall to just one.

    It is like a man who has 50 great-grandchildren, but none with his surname. Maybe he only had daughters. Or maybe only his daughters had children. Or maybe he did have sons but those sons only had daughters. Etc. It is remarkably easy and common for such a line to be broken. The lack of any great-grandchildren with his surname doesn’t mean he didn’t have any descendants. It just means he didn’t have any descendants directly on the male line.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  40. @R.G. Camara

    You’re focusing on the most dramatic aspect of Viking culture — the killing, raping, stealing part. A great number of cities and towns in England, Scotland, Ireland, northern France, and Russia began as Viking settlements. And most of these Norse hamlets were built on the bones of Roman and Celtic population centers.

    “And, as non-Christians, living a life of contemplation was also out.”

    Sure, contemplation and spiritual knowledge only comes to the acolytes of Judeo-Christian Inc.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  41. Just because an jurisdiction or an locality may be from our 20th/21st century perspective, may appear to have been an pleasant place to live, is not imperatively and in every instance, sufficient for persons who lived 800 to 1,000 years go to choose to live or to remain there.

    If Vikings or some Norse people may have inadvertently discovered these islands, and choose or, due to various circumstances, had to live there for some time, there may be an calendar, broad or narrow, of reasons why they did not stay.

    One possible reason may simply have been boredom. Life on an island is not for everyone. Non Obstant the matter of whether they lived 20 years ago. Or 1000 years ago. Island life can be boring. The isolation of this archipelago, 1000 years ago may have made the place seem very lonely and bleak at times. And, therefore, when the opportunity presented itself, these people may have decided that life in Sweden, or Norway, or somewhere else in Northern Europe, in the the cold and the snow, and the intermittent famines, was more “near and dear” to them than an idyllic, even sybaritic life on an lush semi tropical island.

    As well, one must consider whether the people who lived in these islands before the arrival of the Portuguese came from northern Europe. The proximity of these islands to the Mediterranean may indicate that they came from the East. Perhaps they were members of that mysterious people, of whom, still, very little is known, who travelled by ship down the various riverine systems that empty into the Black Sea. And who recruited themselves as members of the Emperor’s imperial guard at Constantinople. Perhaps they were driven West. Perhaps they were pursued by Barbary Corsairs, sailing out of al Tunis and Algiers. And discovered these islands by accident.

    In 1952, Evelyn Waugh, travelled to Goa, India. He wrote an article for an English Newspaper. Discussing the last public veneration of “St. Xavier’s Bones.” Which later published as an brief essay. Within the context of this essay, he considered the history of Portuguese expansion and exploration between circa 1200 to 1492. He stated: “The Portuguese went first and went farther.”

    Perhaps it is possible that these islands were discovered and, briefly, inhabited by seafarers sailing out of one of the ports of what later became Portugal. They remained for some time. And then returned to the Iberian Peninsula. I do not believe the first settlers were Norse.

    I believe they came originally from la Peninsula. Or, from what are now the Madieras. For various reasons. Perhaps there was population pressure, which impelled some of the inhabitants to emigrate. Perhaps there was famine. Perhaps there was some sort of conflict among the population which encouraged or required those who had lost whatever trial of conclusions which occurred in the Madieras to leave. At least temporarily.

    Island populations tend to wax and wane. As an consequence of various factors. The Blasket Island of the south – west coast of Ireland have been concurrently deserted and inhabited over the millenia. Consequent to famine, population pressure, emigration and better economic prospects elsewhere. Whoever these people were, they had to build themselves something to live in.

    If the sites and remains of these places could be found. The sorts of structures they built to house themselves would be important in terms of who these people were and where they originally came from.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  42. @Steve Sailer

    The Azoreans are an early-to-bed-early-to-rise people. They put in a full day’s work before the pothead stumbles out of the sack at 1:42 pm.

  43. @prosa123

    Even Quint found your sea shanty yucky.

  44. Sitting on top of the junction of three major tectonic plates, the Azores have suffered a number of severe earthquakes in the recorded history since 1500. My guess would be that any fledgling Viking foothold on one or more of the islands might have been wiped out in an earthquake/landslide/tsunami scenario in the unrecorded history of the islands.

    It will be interesting to see if the volcano on La Palma in the Canaries will blow and generate a tsunami that will take out half of the Northern Atlantic rim.

  45. Bruno says:
    @Steve Sailer

    For Iceland, they brought Scottish and Irish slaves, mostly women along the way.

  46. @Wilkey

    mtDNA is handed down directly from mother to child

    Yes, I agree. Nevertheless I do recall that this claim was made prominently somewhere back in the ’90s or so, and perhaps it was a mis-implication on my part to have suggested that this was due to a simple mother-to-daughter mtDNA analysis. I no longer recall the basis of the claim in the original study, if I even understood it at the time, I only recalled the “all Indians descend from four ur-grandmothers” because it was a startling statistic. So I can’t say if it was merely a journalistic misunderstanding of DNA science (hence my suggestion it may have been “refuted” above), or whether there was more to the study than that.

  47. @Abe

    But they were without guns (say, a 15th Century invention) and more importantly the early 21st Century discovery that both women can have [email protected] and men can have babies.

    As is so often the case, it was their Transphobia that did them in.

  48. @R.G. Camara

    RG, many articles in National Geographic point to Viking settlements with women and farming and livestock.

  49. jb says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    But according to the Science article it appears there was an established population. For example, there is evidence of “ruminants such as cows and sheep” and “a dip in the abundance of native tree pollens”. If this is true it renders moot the question of how hard it was to get there and back.

    There is actually an issue here that is very similar to the question of pre-Clovis populations in America. Given that this was a virgin and hospitable environment with an area substantially larger than Easter Island, why didn’t the population of any established settlement explode to the point where evidence for its existence would have been unmistakable today?

  50. @Daniel H

    Dan, I would guess that before burning your ships, you saved your sails, rigging and hardware, all of which could be used for other purposes besides sailing. And, the British and French in the new world, especially around the Great lakes, build boats as needed.

  51. Jack D says:
    @Altai

    I really doubt this. Maybe there would have been 1 or 2 guys on the crew who had shipwright skills so that repairs could be made but the skill set required for ship building and the skill set required for sailing are two different things.

    A Viking ship is a pretty finely engineered thing. In 1987 they built what they thought was an exact replica of a Viking ship that had been dug up a century earlier. The replica sank in 20 seconds in calm water. It’s not as easy as it looks.

    https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/professions/boatyard/building-projects/the-oseberg-ship

  52. Jack D says:

    Why didn’t the Vikings stay in Vinland (North America), a much larger discovery? According to the sagas, they were chased off by the Skraelings (the Indians) but that couldn’t have been the whole story. The Vikings were just not focused on colonization although they did set up outposts in a couple of places (Iceland, Greenland). Colonization was just not their thing. They found these places but they didn’t find them useful for their culture so they just left them. To us it seems like they were leaving billion \$ bills on the sidewalk, but what looks like a billion \$ bill to us maybe looked to a Viking like a piece of worthless tree bark that you allow to blow away in the wind.

    • Agree: David In TN
    • Replies: @jb
    , @Ralph L
  53. jb says:
    @Jack D

    Why couldn’t it have been the whole story?

  54. @Nimrod

    Why are we assuming the first colonists of the Azores were Vikings? Aren’t the Guanches also a good candidate?

    Steve left this out, but if you follow his link:

    …as Searle and colleagues documented in 2015, Azorean house mice share a substantial amount of DNA with house mouse populations that originated in northern Europe. The mice could have hitched a ride on the Viking ships and encountered an island with plentiful resources and few competitors or predators, says Searle, who was not involved in the latest study. The mice are like “living artifacts,” of a Viking presence, he says.

    • Replies: @Nimrod
  55. @Steve Sailer

    Steve’s response here is the killer comeback – because if the Vikings were game for settling Iceland and even *Greenland*, they certainly would have stuck around the Azores in some fashion had any of them ever found it and got back to tell about it. If any Viking crew had ever returned from the Azores, word certainly had would have got out and around among them, and *some* Vikings would always have continued using those islands as bases for raiding Europe, even if the prior Viking parties using them eventually went home rich.

    So Steve’s hypothesis has to be right, that a handful of shipwrecked Vikings without sufficient tools just couldn’t ever get back home.

    And obviously the idea of Vikings always being dash-and-grab raiders and never settlers is quite wrong, as again the examples of the colonies they planted in Iceland and Greenland attest. Each project was in a highly forbidding landscape and required men with enormous perseverance and longterm commitment to build settlements out of nothing. No short-term gains to be plundered there.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  56. 2BR says:

    There is no evidence these were Vikings. There is only evidence there were earlier humans. 700-850 was a time of great dislocation in North Africa and the Iberian peninsula. Some of the Christian inhabitants of these areas seem likely to have fled.

  57. Not Raul says:
    @Nimrod

    Your theory is very plausible.

    If it wasn’t Guanches, or Vikings, perhaps it was Arabs, or Berbers.

  58. BB753 says:

    Weren’t the Phoenicians there before anybody else?

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  59. Ralph L says:
    @Jack D

    they did set up outposts in a couple of places (Iceland, Greenland)

    And Sicily and Southern Italy and Normandy and England. And Malta, with their little dogs, too.

  60. raga10 says:

    You guys are all discussing the Vikings as if it was a given, but I would like to point out the Viking connection is extremely tenuous: in fact it is non-existent. The only evidence even remotely pointing in northern direction is “genetic similarity to north-European mice”! Otherwise, there are just signs of natural order being somewhat disturbed but no actual artifacts, no helmets, no coins, nothing like that.

    In reality, nothing links Vikings to Azores and since Azores are a lot closer to Africa than to Norway I would be looking in that direction first.

  61. @NJ Transit Commuter

    If you look at an atlas of global wind patterns, there are frequently cyclonic winds over the N. Atlantic. So Vikings could ride westerly flow out to Iceland and Greenland, then go a bit further south and follow easterly winds back to Scandinavia.

    Once you reach the Azores, you gotta follow the trade winds all the way over to the Caribbean before you can loop back across the Atlantic. Perhaps that was too much of a journey for the Viking seamanship?

    Not being a sailor nor an Azorean, my 101 level thought would be the Vikings problem would have been reliably reaching the Azores. From Scandinavia you are working against both the Westerlies and the Gulf Stream. And you have to find the islands way, way off the Europeans coast (longitude).

    The Azores are far enough North (38°) that i would have thought the Westerlies would easily get you back to Europe. I looked it some wind maps and that appears to be the case–in the winter.

    But apparently the migration of the horse latitudes north in the summer is sufficient to reach the Azores, by late summer. Then you could be SOL in the manner you described.

    • Replies: @Mr Mox
  62. @El Dato

    Then they get raided by Ottomans wanting to grab white ass. FAIL.

    A single raid on a minor settlement on a little island off the immediate coast of Iceland, constitutes failure for the whole Icelandic colonization project?

    Have you experienced a recent head injury?

  63. Peixinho Lake

    “Little Fish”. Pois há menos peixinhos a nadar no mar
    Do que os beijinhos que eu darei na sua boca…
    –Vinicius de Moraes

    (Too silly to translate.)

  64. @Steve Sailer

    I’d rather live on the biggest island of the Azores than on Iceland.

    Madeirans introduced the ukelele to Hawaii. Azoreans introduced billiard-table gang rape to Massachusetts. I know which I prefer.

    Icelanders entertained Tolkien and Veblen, both of whom learned their language. As did Leroy Anderson:

    He continued his studies at Harvard through the early 1930’s working toward a PhD in German and Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Old Norse), while working as a music tutor at Radcliffe College. A gifted linguist, Leroy eventually mastered Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese in addition to the English and Swedish of his upbringing…

    At the start of World War II Leroy was drafted as a private into the U.S. Army, which made use of his fluency in languages. He married Eleanor Jane Firke before shipping off to Iceland where he served as a translator and interpreter in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps, beginning in 1942. While there he wrote an Icelandic Grammar for the U.S. Army.

    “I was sent to Iceland as an agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps with the grade of corporal and, since I knew Icelandic, was assigned to translating the Icelandic papers for the G-2 section and to censoring scripts of the Icelandic Broadcasting Company (Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV)) in the interest of military security. Because I knew Icelandic I was assigned to Headquarters in Reykjavik where I had duties involving contact with the Icelandic population. My only musical activity in Iceland was attending performances of the Bach “St. John Passion” and Haydn’s “The Seasons”, both given by local church choirs and the Reykjavik orchestra. I seldom thought about music during the war because all my assignments were full-time jobs that took most of my energies.” – L.A., 1947

    Leroy returned to the USA and graduated from Officer’s Candidate School in 1943. He was assigned to the Pentagon as Chief of the Scandinavian Department of Military Intelligence…

    Leroy was offered the position of U.S. Military Attaché to Sweden but declined, deciding that composing was now to be his sole occupation.

    http://www.leroyanderson.com/biography.php

    Anderson on ukulele:

    [MORE]

  65. @Sam Malone

    Each project was in a highly forbidding landscape and required men with enormous perseverance and longterm commitment to build settlements out of nothing. No short-term gains to be plundered there.

    You are describing my American ancestors, but why did Vikings apparently reach America first but not persevere and build settlements the way my ancestors did?

  66. Nimrod says:
    @gandydancer

    I read the article; I was raising the Guanche possibility because nobody had brought it up yet, and they’re the only indigenous inhabitants of the entire Macaronesian area (Cape Verde, Madeira, the Azores, the Canaries). They got to the Canaries somehow from the African mainland. If you read further down, the article acknowledges that we don’t know precisely when the rats came to the Azores, and that it’s quite possible they could have come with Castilian or Portuguese sailors centuries after the Viking voyages.

    • Replies: @Hugo Silva
  67. Not Raul says:
    @BB753

    Weren’t the Phoenicians there before anybody else?

    Possibly.

    • Agree: BB753, flyingtiger
  68. Nimrod says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Settling North America from Scandinavia / Iceland / Greenland was no joke. It’s 1600 miles from Iceland to Newfoundland (Vinland); 1400 miles from Greenland to Newfoundland. It’s 400 miles from Iceland to Greenland, but keep in mind you couldn’t just go anywhere in Greenland and hit arable land. Even in the Medieval Warm Period, the Vikings only settled a handful of very specific spots with generally bad soil and limited resources. Newfoundland also isn’t exactly a picnic to settle; Labrador and Baffin Island (Helluland and Markland), the other places in North America the Vikings apparently explored, were even worse.

    That’s a long way to sail to a series of small locations without using any kind of navigational aids whatsoever. The only other people who attempted anything remotely similar were the Polynesians, and even their longest jumps (to Hawaii and Easter Island from the Marquesas) were still in the same ballpark distance…and they apparently got intelligence about these lands from whatever native American population they ran into in the Marquesas who were aware that these places existed.

    The sagas seem to imply that population pressure impelled Erik the Red to try to settle Greenland, but I’m not sure how accurate that is. Iceland was always sparsely inhabited. It remains a treeless, generally arid volcanic wasteland to this day. Immigration effectively ceased within a century or two of settlement. Greenland was never inhabited by more than a few hundred settlers. The Viking colony there was so precarious it had to be abandoned by the time the Medieval Warm Period ended and serious cold weather / competition with the Inuit set in. While conditions were probably somewhat better during the Viking settlement, nowadays there is only one natural forest in all of Greenland, in the Qinngua Valley, not far from the ‘Western Settlement’, one of the three main Viking colonies:

    I don’t think the Norse ever had the support base in either Greenland or Iceland to expand on the foothold Leif Erickson made in Vinland. And I don’t think the Vikings had the wherewithal or the inclination to go native and copy the folkways of the local Dorset culture to secure their survival.
    While Vinland was surely useful for timbering, it was at the extreme edge of the tether for the Norse. Five hundred years later, European settlement in North America didn’t succeed until governments and big corporations, using advanced shipbuilding and navigational technology, made settlement for its own sake a priority. The Mayflower, for instance, a humble ship for its own time, was four or five times as heavy as even the biggest Viking longships, with correspondingly greater capacity for passengers and supplies. Even then, the survival of the British colonies in North America was a close-run thing through the 1670s and the colonial victory in King Philip’s War, the bloodiest per capita war in the history of the Western hemisphere.

    The impressive thing isn’t that the Vikings were too stupid to settle North America; it’s that they had the guts to even make the effort, thousands and thousands of miles away from their population center in Scandinavia.

  69. S Johnson says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It’s now thought that there was a Viking settlement in modern Newfoundland (L’Anse aux Meadows). The obstacle to it becoming a more permanent colony must have been distance and ability to carry all the necessary supplies and women in their less sophisticated ships than those of 1492 and later. Interestingly Newfoundland is probably where John Cabot ended up after sailing from Bristol in 1497. But even after him North America further south seems to have been relatively unexplored until Jacques Cartier almost 40 years later. I suppose the more easily monetized Caribbean and south were more attractive at first. The Normans who were Vikings who’d settled in France colonised Sicily and southern Italy in the eleventh century so they weren’t averse to remaining in hotter climes when possible.

    • Thanks: HammerJack
  70. @anonymous coward

    Age of Exploration sailing ships always had professional carpenters on board with metal tools. I don’t know about the Vikings. Of course, getting your axe ashore from your sinking ship could be big problem.

  71. @Anonymous

    Volcanic explosions should be dateable.

    Volcanos make for rich soil: Mexican farmers crowd up the flanks of Mexico’s famous volcanos to benefit from the abundant crops. It’s a strategy that works great 99 years out of 100, but has its downsides too.

  72. @YetAnotherAnon

    “The Vikings found Vinland, too, but they didn’t stay there.”

    Vinland was full of Skraelings who seemed to want their dreary country more than the Vikings did. Azores were like Sicily with steady rain but nobody there to fight you for it.

  73. @HammerJack

    The Polynesians watched bird migrations and studied wave patterns. They apparently could detect over the horizon islands from the ripples in the waves they left.

    But, yeah, probably more than a few brave Polynesians died looking for islands.

    • Replies: @Nimrod
  74. JMcG says:
    @Nimrod

    Iceland to Greenland is around 270 miles, coast to coast. That’s the biggest ocean crossing when going from Europe to North America. Very inhospitable seas, but not very far as these things go. Farley Mowat had an interesting book speculating on European presence in the high Arctic long before Columbus. It basically argued that Walrus hunters were all over the place up there.

    • Replies: @Nimrod
  75. @YetAnotherAnon

    Doing the sums is annoying, some use therms, some use BTUs, but todays UK gas price, £2.18 a therm (down from £3.55 at one stage yesterday) still equates I think to £132 a barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) which is \$180 a barrel. That’s MUCH more than the oil price, more than twice as much.

    Well, there’s always coal…

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  76. songbird says:

    Could they have brought tropical diseases there by taking African slaves there? And then fled or died off?

  77. @BenKenobi

    YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE

    Ben! Where have you been, big guy? What’s going on out there?

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  78. ‘Perhaps an all male crew was shipwrecked on an island and survived for years or decades (not killing each other over women like the Bounty mutineers did on Pitcairn Island), long enough to leave traces for contemporary scientists to find? ‘

    A very small founder population had problems with inbreeding?

  79. prosa123 says:
    @Dermot Kyne

    If Vikings or some Norse people may have inadvertently discovered these islands, and choose or, due to various circumstances, had to live there for some time, there may be an calendar, broad or narrow, of reasons why they did not stay.
    One possible reason may simply have been boredom. Life on an island is not for everyone … Island life can be boring. The isolation of this archipelago, 1000 years ago may have made the place seem very lonely and bleak at times.

    Possibly. But then again, 1,000 years ago very few people traveled much at all. A Norse descendant on one of the Azores wouldn’t be effectively more isolated than one living back in Scandinavia, as chances are the latter would spend his entire life from birth to death in a small geographic area.

  80. prosa123 says:
    @Nimrod

    Newfoundland also isn’t exactly a picnic to settle; Labrador and Baffin Island (Helluland and Markland), the other places in North America the Vikings apparently explored, were even worse.

    Parts of Labrador are still so isolated that an unmanned German weather station brought ashore by a U-Boat in 1943 remained undiscovered until 1981. It might have remained undiscovered to this day if a researcher in Germany hadn’t stumbled across records while looking through some old military files.

    • Thanks: Nimrod
    • Replies: @JMcG
  81. anon[292] • Disclaimer says:

    More than a 3 hour tour but when they got shipwrecked they sure could have used the fine companionship of a “Ginger” and a “Mary Ann”.

  82. anon[175] • Disclaimer says:

    @Jack D #46

    “In 1987 they built what they thought was an exact replica of a Viking ship that had been dug up a century earlier. The replica sank in 20 seconds in calm water.”

    Yeah, but maybe the ship they dug up also sank in 20 seconds when it was first launched. After all, what was it doing in the mud where it could be dug up in the first place? Or maybe the Vikes sank it on purpose because it couldn’t pass the emissions test.

    • Replies: @Coemgen
  83. @Buzz Mohawk

    Maybe they didn’t have enough contagious diseases to wipe the natives out.

  84. anon[175] • Disclaimer says:

    @Dermot Kyne #44

    “Perhaps they were members of that mysterious people, of whom, still, very little is known, who travelled by ship down the various riverine systems that empty into the Black Sea. And who recruited themselves as members of the Emperor’s imperial guard at Constantinople.”

    Those “mysterious” people sound an awful like what the Greeks called “Varangians,” Swedish “Vikings.” They once mounted a highly coordinated simultaneous attack on Constantinople coming in two wings, one from the north down the rivers and one from the west through the Mediterranean.

  85. @SunBakedSuburb

    And most of these Norse hamlets were built on the bones of Roman and Celtic population centers.

    Exactly. The Vikings were not ones to build from scratch, and the Azores had no previous settlements to build on.

    Sure, contemplation and spiritual knowledge only comes to the acolytes of Judeo-Christian Inc.

    There is no such thing or person as Judeo-Christ. It’s offensive to both religions.

  86. @Mr Mox

    Maybe the fair-skinned Vikings would have gotten sunburns and skin cancer at the lower latitude of the Azores (same as southern Portugal) and so tried to leave. That is if in fact the inhabitants were Vikings.

  87. JMcG says:
    @prosa123

    Agreed, I’ve hunted in Northern Quebec and it is the back of beyond. Our camp was at the end of a 350 mile long gravel road. It was around -5°F in the daytime. A very precarious place to exist.

  88. BenKenobi says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Hey fren, it’s been a while since a rapped at you guys. I decided to stop posting here back in June for the reasons I elaborated in my Cleitus rewrite above. Haven’t even lurked since. I feel the moderation has become compromised and shills and trolls have hijacked our usual discussion. Note that this post was a first but was held back for over 12 hours and several new Sailer blogs before getting approved. Had I simply said “your daughters will suck black cock” I’m sure the comment would have sailed through moderation to first.

    As to me and Vancouver: My third little Eichman was born on Tuesday. Alexander Kenobi, just under 8lbs. The baby’s various names were chosen months ago so I’ve been kind of into the Colin Farrel biopic lately, hence my Cleitus rewrite. We’re decamping for Whiter pastures and a bought a house in a nice suburb about 90 minutes north-east of Vancouver. Mommy no longer wants to work and that’s fine by me.

    Fare thee well, Unz Review. I love most of you.

  89. @Joe Stalin

    The Great Smog (and all those yellow London fogs beloved of all Sherlock Holmes fans including film directors) was caused by using coal for cooking and heating. Up to the 1980s my grandparents still heated their house with open coal fires.

    It was also a symptom of the inefficiency of coal burning that way – incomplete combustion. It is much cleaner to burn the coal efficiently in a power generating station. Still inefficient, this time because of conversion and power losses in the lines and transformers, but much cleaner, although still CO2 heavy. London had Battersea and Bankside coal-fired power stations right in the centre of town, there were coal fired power stations in places like Chelsea and Regent’s Park. While not producing much smoke, there was still residual grit going up the chimneys.

    “The London County Council undertook tests to measure the deposition of grit in the area during the summer of 1950. They estimated that up to 235 tons per square mile of grit was deposited in the area from Bankside ‘A’ power station during the month of September 1950.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Former_power_stations_in_London

    Most modern houses don’t have grates or stoves that’ll burn wood or coal.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  90. Mr Mox says:
    @AnotherDad

    Not being a sailor nor an Azorean, my 101 level thought would be the Vikings problem would have been reliably reaching the Azores. From Scandinavia you are working against both the Westerlies and the Gulf Stream. And you have to find the islands way, way off the Europeans coast (longitude).

    Agree. With nothing but the sun and stars (and maybe a primitive sunstone compass) to guide you, it would be quite a challenge to find a group of islands more than a thousand miles off the coast of Portugal. Should you miss, it’s next stop America.

  91. @Nimrod

    “Iceland was always sparsely inhabited. It remains a treeless, generally arid volcanic wasteland to this day. “

    It used to have birch forests, but the Vikings cut them all down for timber and metal smelting. Without the trees, what soil there was eroded.

    https://www.zmescience.com/science/iceland-forest-climate-change-92342342/

    But the Vikings and their Norman successors did get around. They established a kingdom that took in Sicily and a lot of the North African coast.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_II_of_Sicily#Later_reign

    • Thanks: Nimrod
  92. @BenKenobi

    You’ll be back. I hope.

    Also, I definitely understand.

  93. Nimrod says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The Polynesians watched bird migrations and studied wave patterns. They apparently could detect over the horizon islands from the ripples in the waves they left.

    While certainly true, this does not explain the Polynesians’ most famous leaps of all. I forget if you’ve covered this study before, but in case you hadn’t, I respectfully submit this to your attention:

    https://repositorio.uchile.cl/bitstream/handle/2250/177265/Native-American-gene.pdf?sequence=1

    Researchers at Stanford University claim to have discovered definitive proof that American Indians and Polynesians interbred at some point in the 1200s, apparently in the Marquesas Islands. Which is exactly where Thor Heyerdahl went in the 1950s to prove his theory, developed from Marquesan folklore, that Polynesians actually colonized Oceania from South America. Polynesians in the Marquesas bear small traces of an admixture event many centuries ago.

    This might explain how the Polynesians were able to successfully conduct their most spectacular and improbable voyages across the Pacific–to Hawaii and Easter Island. They had advance knowledge of land in those directions. Trade winds and currents in the Pacific favor initial settlement of these islands from the Americas, not from Polynesia.

    After Easter Island, reaching Hawaii is the longest leap the Polynesians made during their travels across the ocean, and both jumps are hundreds of miles further than any other voyage they presumably made. At 860 miles away, the nearest land to Hawaii is tiny Johnston Atoll, a guano island with no freshwater and no evidence of any Polynesian settlement. The barely-habitable Line Islands are around 400 miles further southeast. Tahiti is 2,500 miles away. While I wouldn’t put any seagoing feat past the Polynesian navigators, it seems a bit of a stretch to assume they would’ve just gone looking for land across such a vast distances of empty ocean.

    Contact between Native Americans and Polynesians in Polynesia provides an explanation for the discovery of Hawaii. The prevailing winds and currents make a journey from Polynesia to Hawaii (and Easter Island) very hazardous. Knowledge of land to the north and the east makes such a long journey much more comprehensible. Interestingly enough, the original migration to Hawaii seems to have come from the people of the Marquesas Islands, the very place where contact between Native Americans and Polynesians may have occurred. Assuming the Polynesians did reach Colombia, they could quite possibly have been taken along the equatorial current system to the Hawaiian Islands on their return journey. Accidental discovery is also a possibility.

    I am also reminded of Hawaiian legends about menehune, originally thought to be the equivalent of European fairies or ‘little people’, who supposedly inhabited Hawaii before the Hawaiians reached the islands in the 11th or 12th centuries and were renowned as great builders. The menehune might actually be a displaced memory of the Americans whom the Hawaiians encountered in the Marquesas and who presumably had a sculpture tradition deriving from the Americas. Thor Heyerdahl thought that certain commonalities in votive idols in Polynesia and South America indicated contacts of some kind. Heyerdahl’s theories look a lot more plausible now than they did even two years ago.

    • Replies: @anon
  94. Sailing long distances upwind in a boat made entirely of natural materials is nearly impossible. The stresses on the hull are too great. It requires some use of metal and a heavy and strong keel. The Vikings did not master sailing for hundreds of years.

    It’s likely the Polynesians watched the weather carefully, riding on the back of a tropical depression which gave them a push to the east.

  95. @Buzz Mohawk

    It could have been the constant, withering attacks by native men, but it could be the syphilitic vaginas of the women.

  96. @YetAnotherAnon

    Not long ago the price of natural gas in west Texas was negative.

    We flare it off all over the middle of the continent, and as I’m sure you know many other places as well. Whatever happened to LNG transport?

  97. Coemgen says:
    @anon

    Maybe they needed to submerge the ships until their wood expanded thus closing gaps and making the vessels watertight.

    This technique was used in North America during the colonial period to make and keep bateaux watertight.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bateaux

  98. @Nimrod

    How the Guanches reached their islands is another mistery.

    They were pretty much stranded in their islands and had no technology for navigating in the high sea.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Nimrod
  99. JMcG says:
    @BenKenobi

    Good luck in your new home and congratulations on your son!

  100. JMcG says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Fireplaces and solid fuel ranges are banned in new construction in Ireland. They’re about ready to pull the trigger on banning farmers from cutting their own turf (peat) for heating their homes. The government wants everyone on gas or oil for heating. Coincidentally, they aren’t able to tax people who cut their own fuel.

    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  101. @Hugo Silva

    But the Canary Islanders didn’t die out, and their climate is more marginal and drought prone that the Azores. So I kind out of doubt any mixed sex groups ever got to the Azores.

  102. Nimrod says:
    @Hugo Silva

    Not a clue.

    Presumably they had some kind of sailing technology. It’s less than a hundred miles from the African coast to Tenerife. It needn’t have been particularly advanced, but whatever got them that far could presumably have gotten them to the Azores as well.

  103. Nimrod says:
    @JMcG

    Chrisopher Columbus apparently made multiple voyages to the North Atlantic in the 15 years before his famous American expedition. Among other places, he went to Ireland, Bristol, and may even have gone as far as Iceland.

    Presumably he heard about the lands to the west from sailors and locals in these areas. The Icelanders never forgot about their colonies in Greenland and North America. Most of what we know about the Greenland settlement comes from Icelandic sagas which were handed down orally almost to the last century. Sailors from England exploited the cod fisheries off Newfoundland from the early 1400s.

    There’s a high probability Columbus had good information about land to the west from his mariner associates; he erred in thinking that land had to be China, rather than a new unknown continent or set of continents.

    • Thanks: JMcG
  104. LP5 says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    …barely colonized any of the places they discovered.

    Notable Scandinavian colonizers, although not discoverers, were the Kievan Rus.
    They also tie into Belarus.
    Based on his Varangian name, the commenter Rurik could tell you a lot more.

  105. The Vikings seem unlikely. By 700c.e., they hadn’t yet come up with those snazzy, large long boats and weren’t moving too far beyond the north sea. That was even before Charlamegne took to pushing north into Saxony and Daneland.

    Scandinavian rodent DNA in modern Azores rodents could have been introduced more recently.

    What was happening in 700? Not much sailing of any kind by anyone, making this very peculiar.

    On the Iberian peninsula, the chaos of newly forming Al-Andalus probably prompted more than a few to make desperate escape attempts. Let’s say that a family of 12 took to the sea with a few cows and goats. There’s an uncle and two cousins in the mix. That would genetically play itself out in about a century.

  106. @BenKenobi

    Ben K, first, congratulations on your new son! We need everyone we can get. 🙂 Sounds like you’re making a smart move with the fam. I wish you all well.

    TLDR:

    [MORE]

    As for moderation… there are longtime regulars who get held up in mod, there are a few others who are consistently mad that Steve isn’t explicitly WN, etc. The few Tiny Duck style trolls don’t bother me (they’re literally a joke), and more serious lefty/parenthetical up-and-coomers whom Steve lets through also get plenty of rebuttal and mockery from our side. I don’t claim to read Steve’s mind, but I think one thing that keeps him from auto-approving many regulars is that some of them are pretty angry in general, and he doesn’t want to front-load a thread into being a total “life sucks” complaint fest, nor does he want people fedposting or otherwise fucking up the blog (not saying that you would do that)—it’s a tough call on his part.

    One thing I do when I comment is write with Steve (the man) in mind. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he says, or kiss his ass, but I understand what he’s trying to do with his blog (“Knowledge is good”) and his internet presence and overall message to TPTB—which basically serves as a civilized warning to them. I try to add value to that, because Steve’s work has added so much value to all our lives and to the public intellectual fray (okay, it’s called we do a little ass kissing).

    Some of what I do is just wack, pointed (on topic) humor, but I like to think it also serves an esprit-de-corps counterpoint to the tendency of some of the more bitter crowd who just want to hang out here and lament about impending doom—“Eeyores” as former commenter Jack Hanson would call them. That’s not to say that one should come to iSteve for superficial laughs, because as the smarter of us know, the heavier demographic and cultural topics of this blog likely have deadly implications.

    Anyway, enough of me musing on comments policy. Mr. Kenobi, I appreciate you as a commenter (maybe I’m biased because you’ve left me a fair number of LOLs and Agrees over the years 🙂 ) and as someone who cares about the future. Will the Northwest remain pacific? We shall see. Hold the new fort. And come back to iSteve anytime (at whim).

  107. Rapparee says:
    @dearieme

    Such claims are obvious baloney but the Norse who discovered Iceland found monks already there – who presumably had come from Scotland or Ireland.

    Irish monks in the early middle ages wandered to all kinds of remote places in search of the “Green Martyrdom” of ascetic isolation and lives of silent, lonely penance. They used ox-hide boats, not stone, and Tim Severin demonstrated in 1976 that it at least possible to sail such a boat as far as North America (that anyone ever did so before Mr. Severin’s feat, I am strongly inclined to doubt). Are they the culprit? Possibly not- the time window seems a bit late for their wanderings, and this could turn out to be just noise in the data of some kind.

    Still, a group of monks, Irish or otherwise, would adequately explain why men would live for decades or more in a remote place with no women and not make any attempt to leave. There are a pack of them doing exactly that on Papa Stronsay in Scotland even today.

    • Agree: JMcG
  108. midtown says:

    It’s possible Vikings swung through the area. The Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco were inhabited by a Stone Age tribe known as the Gaunches, that, according to Muslim explorers in the 1100s, frequently had fair-haired women of “rare beauty,” and that the men were tall with reddish-brown complexion. The islands were invaded by Spain in the 1400s, and the Stone Age tribe didn’t fare well.

    Wikipedia notes that a Roman expedition to the islands around the time of Christ found little population but the ruins of great buildings. Make of it what you will.

  109. @JMcG

    “The government wants everyone on gas or oil for heating.”

    Completely the opposite in the UK, the government wants everyone building new to be OFF gas or oil. Look up “Future Homes Standard”.

    https://www.cih.org/blogs-and-articles/zero-carbon-ready-from-2025-a-look-at-the-future-homes-standard-and-future-building-standard

    All homes are to be highly energy efficient with low carbon heating and to be ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025; these homes are expected to produce 75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels and, to ensure industry is ready to meet the new standards by 2025, homes built to the interim standard should produce 31% less carbon dioxide emissions compared to current levels from 2021. This delivers a significant uptick in the pace of the shift away from gas boilers and the expectation is that heat pumps will become the main source of heating system for most new homes.

    This will be fun. New mass housing in the UK has a tiny garden footprint, air source heat pumps are still crap in winter, so drilling will be needed to put pipes full of antifreeze hundreds of feet down into the ground. I am not at all sure that there are enough drill rigs or geologists to go round. The underground pipework will probably have to be communal to the development.

    God knows what will happen in cities – London has vast amounts of stuff underground already – what kind of system will be needed to heat blocks of flats?

    On the plus side, the tiny houses of the future will at least lose radiators, as heat pumps are best suited to underfloor heating.

  110. anon[123] • Disclaimer says:
    @Nimrod

    Polynesians in the Marquesas bear small traces of an admixture event many centuries ago.

    Translate to English: they got boinked.

    And they sure needed that after that long ocean voyage.

  111. meh says:

    There has been plenty of evidence of human habitation of the Azores going way back to the bronze age or neolithic, but talk of such things as pyramids on the Azores immediately brands one with the Scarlet A (for Atlantis, not adulterer). So it has a chilling effect on even talking about it.

    https://portuguese-american-journal.com/pico-new-archeological-evidence-reveals-human-presence-before-portuguese-occupation-azores/

    https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/File:Pyramid_on_Pico_Island_Azores.jpg

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