Sea Gypsies


Well I started off this morning thinking I was going to write about the aquatic ape theory, and then I found The Moken. I went to Thailand about 12 years ago and loved the place, it’s history, it’s beautiful kind people. We even spent most of our time there around Phuket and Ko Phi Phi, and didn’t know a thing about the Moken, a group of semi-nomadic sea people, until today. Unfortunately now their way of life is threatened by tourism and the general encroachment of the rest of the world.

One thing I found fascinating about these people is that, according to one source, none of them died in the tsunami of 2005. Apparently, the fish told them it was coming. Some of them took to the mountains inland, others rescued tourists from the islands, and still others actually rode out the tsunami in their boats.

Seeing the way that these people live, it is easier to imagine that humans as a species evolved in and around water, as hypothesized by the proponents of the aquatic ape theory. What is harder to imagine is what would make people decide to move inland, away from the water. It used to be widely believed that North America was settled by the Native Americans by the Bering Strait land bridge, but more recently scientists have been looking at coastal routes as more plausible.

Some even suggest that global warming could cause cataclysmic flooding that would once again put us in a position of having to survive in a watery environment, as soon as 2012.