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    Re: Traditional Wayfinding
    From: Ed Popko
    Date: 2022 Jan 15, 09:52 -0800

    Murray,

    I appreciate your post. 

    I make no claim to be a Polynesian scholar but I have spent quite a bit of time reading and looking into the basics. Along the theme of your comments, I have seen a number of references to Te Lapa - "The Flashing'. And frankly, I can not tell if this is speculation that had been repeated so many times that it is believed as fact or what.

    Te Lapa means the flashing or something that flashes, exactly like lightning. Its a flickering or light streak at a depth up to a fathom. It's an oceanic light phenomenon and related to pressure waves and bioluminescence. Streaks, flashes or momentary glowing plaques of light, up to a fathom below the surface, emanate from land or reefs. The belief is that Polynesian navigators spoted these streaks at night and that they point to an island or abrupt change in near-surface contours below the surface. The phenomenon is also attributed to volcanic disturbances interacting with bioluminescent organisms. it occurs 2-10 miles out.

    Here are some web references.


    https://www.lacma.org/lab/project/te-lapa-polynesian-navigation-illuminated

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/118330618/te-lapa-mysterious-island-lights-that-help-polynesians-navigate

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2752/175169712X13294910382900?journalCode=rtam20

    Popko

       
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