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The Strange Monuments of Easter Island


Easter Island, or Rapa Nui called by Rapanui people is a Polynesian island which is a tiny speck of volcanic rock located in the south eastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian triangle. On Easter Sunday, 1722 Easter Island was named by its first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen and his group, who was searching for Davis or David's island.

The island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua, is Spanish for "Easter Island".

These European seafarers who landed on Easter Island in the beginning of the eighteenth century could scarcely believe their eyes .This little plot of earth 2250 miles from the coast of Chile had hundreds of strange colossal statues scattered about all over the island.

These monumental statues called moai, some of which are between 33 and 66 ft high still stare challengingly at the visitor even today. These statues weigh as much as 50 tons and it seems quite impossible how they were shaped and cut through like butter from the steel-hard volcanic rock by the Rapanui people.


Thor Heyerdahl's investigations from the charcoal remains of these mysterious statues dates to about 400 A.D., but it is still not been proved whether the fire-places and remnants of the bones had any connection with the stone colossi. Strangely, Heyerdahl discovered hundreds of unfinished stone statues on the edges of the crater; thousands of stone implements and tools lay around as if work has been abandoned quite suddenly. The inhabitants of this isolated island are more familiar with the moon and stars than any other country.

Strange wooden tablets, covered with undeciphered hieroglyphics, found on some of the statues, burnt by the first European missionaries, had some clues about the origin of these huge statues. Fortunately there are at least 10 fragments of those tablets in all the museums in the world, but none of the inscriptions have been deciphered yet.

The important question here is the origin of these statues.

History tells us that the inhabitants of this island were able to move the stone on wooden rollers to their present site seems quite far-fetched since to cut move and cut these statues would have involved a huge population, with an abundant supply of food, but the island scarcely can have provided food since it is a tiny speck of volcanic stone. We are riddled by the fact that who had cut these statues out of the rock let alone transporting them. How were they dressed, polished and erected? These puzzling questions are still to be answered.

Last but not the least, an orally transmitted legend of this island tells us that flying men with staring big eyes landed and lit fires in ancient times as this legend is confirmed by sculptures of these creatures.

Contributing Writer : Anurag Ghosh is a freelance writer with a knack for writing articles based on science, history and arts. Email: [email protected]

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