Daily Star

Easter Island facts to fill your head..

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Volcanic ash called tuff was used to carve most of the 1 887 statues. They took around a year each to make.

Rival clans are thought to have pulled down the statues

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in the 1700s amid riots caused by lack of resources. It’s now against the law to touch them.

The local Rapa Nui people, inset, didn’t have wheels or

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cranes so even today boffins don’t know how they managed to get them into different spots. Special skills of divine ones have been mooted, as well as alien power!

Believing their chiefs were descended from Gods, who

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would rise in the afterlife, human remains from death rituals have been found where some of the statues stand.

Nearly all of the statues look inwards towards the

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villages as it’s said the Rapa Nui people believed they protected them. However, one at Ahu Akivi instead faces the ocean and the area is considered sacred by locals.

While nicknamed the Easter Island Heads,

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in 1914 archaeolog­ists discovered the statues also have bodies through excavation­s.

Some also have hats, which are said to

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be a symbol of power.

The tallest, known as Easter Island 8 Statue, is 39ft tall and was excavated around 1956 by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl.

In 2008 a 26-year-old

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tourist from Finland whacked off an ear from a statue and was fined over £13,000 plus being forced to give a public apology.

Islanders believed the statues could send

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energy into people when coral eyes were added to them. Once a Moai falls down it is left to avoid bad luck.

There is an underwater statue off the

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island’s rocky coast but it’s not real – it was used as a prop from the movie Rapa Nui.

In 2022 a fire on the island saw more

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than 100 Moai damaged and blackened by soot when ranchers burning pasture caused a wildfire across Rano Raraku’s volcanic crater.

 ?? ?? ■ HEADCASES: The striking statues have bodies under the ground
SPECULATIO­N: How they raised a Moai
■ HEADCASES: The striking statues have bodies under the ground SPECULATIO­N: How they raised a Moai
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