New Scientist said:
The early human colonisation of islands might not have been plain sailing. Instead of using boats to deliberately settle on Indonesian islands, hominins may have arrived as castaways, carried on floating debris after floods.
David Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University and Graeme Ruxton of the University of St Andrews, both in the UK, used population estimates from the early settlement of Polynesia to model the likely success of island settlement attempts in human prehistory.
They found that five young couples had a 40 per cent chance of giving rise to a population of 500 – or founding a population that survived for 500 years. Ten random castaways had only a 20 per cent chance of similar success. But throwing in between one and four additional castaways every 50 years raised the chances of an accidental settlement succeeding to 47 per cent.