The first thought that comes to people’s minds when they think about Easter Island is the image of the giant statue heads that can be found scattered all over the island. However, the giant statue heads are not the only mysterious things that you can find on the island. This place has a long history and it’s native culture is very rich. With that said, today we are going to show you the top 20 most interesting things about Easter Island.
20. Real Name
We are going to start off with something that most people don’t know about this place. The real name of the island is actually Rapa Nui which comes from the Polynesian language. Check out the picture to see how the island became known as the “Easter Island”.
19. Easter Island
The reason why the island is not called Rapa Nui is because it was discovered back in 1772 by the explorer known as Jacob Roggeveen. The explored discovered the island during Easter and the name seemed fitting enough.
18. Vulcan Origins
Another interesting fact about Easter Island is that it was created due to multiple volcanic eruptions that took place in the Pacific Ocean. Scientists say that those volcanic eruptions are three million years old.
17. Moving The Statues
Everyone knows about the giant statue heads, but what no one knows is how they were moved around the island. They were moved for more than 11 miles without the use of wheels or large animals. Isn’t this crazy?
16. Giant Bodies
The most amazing discovery that happened on Easter Island was not the giant heads, but their even bigger bodies! Yes, all these head statues have bodies buried underground. Can you guess how many statues are on the island?
15. Hundreds Of Statues!
Easter Island has a total of 887 massive statues. Isn’t this incredible? The statues are called moai and they were created by the early Rapa Nui natives.
Even though the island is a hotspot for tourists who want to see something new and different, the island has only 5,800 residents. Sixty percent of them are natives.
The reason why these statues are called Moai is because they are said to represent chiefs who ruled tribes and the rank of the chief was called Moai in native Rapa Nui language.
12. The Native People
What’s crazy is that researches have not been able to find out that much information about the native people of the island. The only thing that we know so far is that they appeared on the island 1,500 years ago and that they were lead by a chief named Hotu Matu’a.
11. Tropical Forest Origins
Another interesting fact about the Easter Island that most people don’t know about is that it used to be a tropical forest. However, time took its course and the forest disappeared.
10. Ancient Statues
Even though we don’t have that much information about the statues, researchers were able to figure out that they were carved somewhere between 1250 and 1500 AD.
Back in 2008, a Finnish tourist tried to steal a statue! Yes, you read that right. Someone actually wanted to take a Maoi statue, but he wasn’t able to do it because the natives spotted him.
8. Antidote For Leprosy
Doctor Anneliese Potius believes that the statues were used by the natives to counter leprosy. The doctors think that the craftsmen molded the statues to look strange so that people would know what’s coming for them if they weren’t careful about contracting leprosy.
7. Weird Statue
Talking about deformed statues, there is one that looks different than all of them. This statue has human features such as a small beard, but other than that, no one knows why the craftsmen have made it look so ugly.
6. Rats Destroyed Everything
We previously mentioned that Easter Island was a tropical forest at one point in time. Well, researchers believe that the rats which swarmed the island caused the act of deforestation. There even is a special breed called the Polynesian rat.
5. Civil War
The island is small and due to overpopulation, the Napa Rui natives had lots of issues to deal with. However, their biggest problem was a civil war that took the lives of half the population. What’s coming next is a fact that we are sure you will never expect!
4. Standing Statues
Back when the statues were first discovered, none of them were standing straight. They all were toppled over and researches believe that this is a result of the civil war that we previously mentioned.
3. Buried Deep
Back to the statues, we have to mention that most of them were buried deep underground. Researachers have done lots of excavations in the early 1900s in order to reveal all the statues. Rumor has it that more statues are waiting to be discovered to this day.
2. Spiritual Guardians
Another theory about the role of the giant statues in culture is that the natives saw them as spiritual guardians. The statues would protect them from evil spirits.
1. The Statues Are Facing The Island
The last Easter Island fact that we are going to leave you with is quite amazing. Most of the statues are facing towards the island and only a few are looking towards the ocean.