Photo via Sharewell Newswire
The Chilean Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean known as Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is easily most famous for its mysterious moai statues. The monuments were carved from rock between the years 1250 and 1500 by the early Rapa Nui people. The giant figures were most likely originally outlined on giant slabs of rock and then chipped away until the sculpture was complete, they are often referred to as the Easter Island Heads because their heads are considerably out of proportion and large compared to their bodies, and because of their age over time they slowly sank into the ground, so when they were first discovered it didn’t look like they had bodies at all.
Photo via Agis F
There are 887 statues, most weighing around 80 – 90 tons, though there was one unfinished sculpture that would have been 270 tons, but the civilization collapsed before it could be completed. The most mysterious thing about the ancient figures are their locations- the statues are scattered seemingly randomly around the island. While various logical and scientific explanations have been proposed there is no way of knowing for sure. An old legend claims that the king of the island at the time called to the gods to order the sculptures to come to life and walk away from the slabs from which they were carved to their final resting places. My money however is on interns.
Photo via PR Web
Today Easter Island has it’s own airport and plenty of tourist accommodations, but if these strange, ancient, monolithic statues aren’t enough on their own to convince you to make a visit, then you should probably go during the month of February when the Rapanui (the people on the island) sponsor the Tapati, a musical festival held annually since 1975 in celebration of Rapanui culture.
What do you think of the moai statues of Easter Island?