About a month ago my 10-year-old son approached me with a school project on the Easter Island stone heads ( better known as The Moai statues of Easter Island ).
Over the last couple of years I’ve tried my best to build out this website by covering every mysterious case I can find – for some reason I totally overlooked these impressive statues!
A Dutch explorer was in the process of searching for a hypothetical land mass called Terra Australis back in 1722. This land mass was thought to have some sort of control over he northern and southern hemispheres ( it was thought to provide balance between the two! ).
During these travels he happened upon an island that did not show up on any of his charts – as far as he could tell it was undiscovered. It was located in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean.
He struggled to think of a name for this new land so he settled on the time of year he was currently in – he named the island Easter.
The explorer and crew went about covering this new island to see what treasures it could bare. They were more than a little surprised to see that an island this small actually had 2,000 to 3,000 inhabitants.
The explorer was really taken aback by the discovery of these tribes as the island was situated miles and miles from any other civilization. Where did these inhabitants come from?
The island itself was situated 1,900 kilometers away from the nearest inhabited land, and about 3,500 kilometers off the coast of Chile.
The island’s people called themselves the Rapa Nui and they claimed to be the ones that carved and transported the strange 887 statues found on the island.
These statues had each apparently been transported a minimum distance of 17 kilometers. The explorer also took into account that each statue stood at least 33 feet tall and weighted up to 82 tonnes.
All of this supposedly took place over 700 years ago – a pretty impressive feat at the end of the day!
There have been many modern theories on how exactly these rather primitive people managed to move such huge structures so long ago.
Ropes, sleds, rollers, levelled tracks – a scientist even came out with the theory that the statues may well have been rocked back and forth towards their destination.
There have been many modern day attempts to recreate the transportation of the statues but nobody has yet managed it successfully. The suspected methods have been recreated but always result in damage to the statues.
These recreations have also fallen within the wrong time frame – hundreds of people made just 0.08 kilometres of progress per day.
By the looks of things we will never really know how the Rapa Nui managed to be so creative in their work efforts. The organization and the patience needed to fulfill this mission many centuries ago is highly impressive.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Easter Island stone heads please leave them in the comment section below.