Hillman Wonders Hillman Wonders of the World

Easter Island

Easter Island Why Easter Island is special
Easter Island is noted for its stone human statues (called "moai") carved from volcanic rock.

Easter Island tips and insights
When to visit?
Summer or winter? Which is best? Climate plays a major role.
Moai count
The moai number nearly 1000 and dot the hillsides above the rocky shores.

The biggest standing moai is 10 meters (33 feet) tall. An unfinished moai in the quarry is over twice that length and would have weighed about 135,000 kilograms (150 tons).

The moai's purpose is a mystery. The most popular theories say they depict gods or ancestors.

Few places are as remote as Easter Island. It is about 3000 kilometers (2000 miles) away from the two nearest population hubs: Tahiti (to the west) and Chile (east). Geographically, it's in the South Pacific.

First inhabitants
Experts are now fairly certain that Rapa Nui (as the locals call Easter Island) was inhabited by seafaring Polynesians around 400 AD. The Easter Island culture slowly evolved and peaked around 1400 AD.

At the time of its cultural peak, tiny Easter Island became over populated. To meet short term needs, the people committed conservational suicide by denuding the landscape of trees that future generations would need for fuel, boats and buildings. The topsoil soon eroded, the economy collapsed, civil war ensued and moai sculpting abruptly halted.

Easter Island is part of the Polynesia triangle

Easter Island Map
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