Easter Island is one of the most interesting archeological sites in the world. The island is brimming with mystery. No one knows much about the curious statues and the people who used to live before modern civilization took over.
If you are planning a trip sometime soon, then you should know about these lesser known facts:
1. The Height of the Moai Statues
While Moai statues are extremely fascinating and mysterious because of their unknown history, they are even more impressive up close. One thing that people don’t realize is that these Easter Island statues are humongous. One of the tallest one of these statues is 33 feet (10 m) tall and weighs about 82 tons. Another one would have 69 feet in height, had it been unearthed in its complete state.
2. The Moai Statues are not just heads
The Moai statues are buried in secrecy metaphorically, but they’re buried literally as well. Most people think that Moai statues are just big weird heads. However, these statues were in full-bodied form, but their bodies got buried over time. During excavation, most of their heads were uncovered, but they were built as complete statues with the full body resting just below the surface of Easter Island.
3. Someone tried to steal a statue
In 2008, a Finnish tourist visited Easter Island. Apparently, he was so infatuated with these statues that he hacked the ear off one of the Moai and ran away with it. Unfortunately for him, he was seen by an Islander and reported. The Finnish tourist faced seven years of prison, but was let off with an apology and a fine of 17,000 USD.
As a result of this infraction, they increased security for tourists visiting Easter Island.
4. The Leprosy Theory
Some people are of the belief, including Dr. Anneliese Pontius, an associate clinical professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, that these statues might be an antidote of leprosy. According to her studies, the shock of seeing deformity from Leprosy made the islanders counter the effect by overcorrecting the features of Moai and placing it along Easter Island to ward off potential infection.
5. The Ugly Duckling
All the Moai is the Easter Island has very unique elongated features, and sort of a royal, inhuman feel. Except for one called, Tukuturi. Not only is Tukuturi, much shorter in height than the others, but its features are also unlike the regular Moai. It has a human-like head, a small beard, and is made from a different material. The most unique part is the position of this statue. This one is in a kneeling position, with its hand on its knees.
The secret behind Tukuturi will remain a mystery, like the others there is very little known.
6. The Carvings
It is believed that these Easter Island statues were carved out of solidified volcanic ash. This material composite would be found in the quarry site and carved with the help of basalt-stone hand chisels. Experts speculate that one statue required 5-6 men working on it for around a year just to finish it.
7. The Name
Easter Island is a somewhat modern name given to the island. The older names of the island were considered to be Te Pito o Te Henua, which meant the center of the world. Another older name of the island is Mata-Ki-Te-Rani, which translates into, eyes looking at the heaven.
If the obscurity of the island has fascinated you then we suggest you experience it in person with your friends and family. Plan an unforgettable trip to the Easter Island right now.