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Survive The Raft inspired by real experiment which had hopes it'd impact billions

The Acali Raft experiment that inspired Survive the Raft was created by Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés. He led a 1973 behavioral study that involved setting sail in a bid to find world peace. So, what is The Acali Raft experiment that involved picking ten participants from different cultural demographics around the globe?

Discovery Channel has launched a new reality series, but there is a slight truth to the competition. Survive The Raft is not a made-up concept but a copy of the real boat that saw Santiago and the ten participants try to achieve world peace. Genovés hoped that by creating a small reflection of the real world aboard a seven-by-12-meter steel vessel, where danger was inevitable, he would understand the origins of human aggression.

Experiment that inspired Survive The Raft

Santiago Genoves created The Acali Raft Experiment, which he hoped would shed light on the causes of violence in humans and on how it could be prevented. The 101-day experiment was dubbed the S*x Raft.

It was the subject of the 2018 documentary film The Raft, by Marcus Lindeen, who started his research on Santiago’s experiment before he died. Santiago had picked ten diverse participants from around the globe and sailed with them.

They set sail across the Atlantic Ocean aboard a small engineless raft, dubbed the Acali. The purpose of this three-month experiment was, Genovés proposed, to find an answer to world peace.

Get to know Santiago Genoves

Spanish-Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genoves was affiliated with the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He is known for designing the 1973 Peace Project experiment, in which he and ten other people aimed to find peace.

They sailed on the Acali raft from the Canary Islands to Mexico. From Spain, Santiago died on September 5, 2013, aged 89, he was also one of the researchers who co-authored and signed the Seville Statement on Violence in 1986.

Before the Peace Project, Genovés had been part of the Thor Heyerdahl Ra expedition. During his memorable life, he received the Pope John XXIII Memorial International Peace Prize and studied at the University of Cambridge.

Discovery fans react to Acali Raft II

Several viewers of Survive The Raft have only just discovered the original 1973 behavioral study that inspired the new show. Many are taking to Twitter to share their thoughts on Acali Raft II.

One fan wrote on social media: “So the missions are loosely based on Santiago’s ideas… Fun.”

Another penned: “Very interesting show! Like #Survivor with a mix of politics! #SurvivetheRaft.”

“I love #SurviveTheRaft taking an experiment older than me and recreating it 1973-2023. Enjoy!” penned a viewer.


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