Easter Island – a remote island located in Chile has always been on top of attraction list for those who love historical mysteries. The Easter Island Statues have made experts and commoners wonder alike. One question that has always been asked is – ‘what do these heads signify?’ Let us find out more about these incredible statues in this article titled 20 interesting Easter Island Statues facts.
Interesting Easter Island Statues Facts: 1-10
1. These statues are known as Moai and were carved by Rapa Nui people somewhere between 1250 CE and 1500 CE.
2. At first it may appear that the statue heads make up the whole of the statues but archeologists decided to dig and found that full bodies were attached to the heads.
3. These statues are incredibly tall. The tallest complete statue that has been unearthed in 33 feet tall and weigh an incredible 82 tons.
4. Another statue was unearthed in incomplete state. As per scientific calculations, it would have measured 69 feet in height and 270 tons in weight had it been completed.
5. An incredible feature of all the statues is that they all have unusually large heads that measure about 3/8th of the total size of each statue.
6. The Easter Island Statues are all know for their distinguished facial characteristics. Broad and elongated nose, rectangular ears, strong chin and deep eye slits are the primary features of the faces of Moai.
7. The nostrils of the elongated noses have curls that look like fish hooks and all the heads have a distinguished heavy brow.
8. The statues have truncated necks which make the jaw lines stand out. All statues display heavy torso while some of them have subtly outlined clavicles.
9. The arms were carved to rest in various positions against the body with slender long fingers and hands resting along hips’ crests.
10. Of all statues unearthed, only one was found to be in kneeling positing. The rest of the Moai did not have visible legs.
Interesting Easter Island Heads Facts: 11-20
11. Different rocks had been used for carving the statues. Out of 887 known Moai, 834 were carved out from compressed volcanic ash known as tuff.
12. 13 were carved out of basalt, 17 from scoria – a fragile red rock and 22 from trachyte.
13. The average height of the Easter Island Statues is 13.1 feet with average weight being 12.5 tons each.
14. All the statues always faced away from the oceans. That is, they faced inland. However, there is one exception. Only one statue faces the ocean and is located at Ahu Akivi, which was a sacred place for the Rapa Nui people.
15. According to experts, the statues were symbols of political and religious power and authority.
16. Some archeologists say that the statues actually signified repositories of sacred spirit because the Rapa Nui people thought ritually prepared and properly fashioned Moai were bestowed with magical spiritual essence.
17. The possible reason for the statues facing away from the ocean and facing inland towards the villages is that the people of Rapa Nui thought of the statues as protectors of their people overlooking the village.
18. Many of the statues that were carved out of basalt have petroglyphs inscribed on them.
19. Some of the incomplete statues once gave birth to the idea that the island (Easter Island) was once a part of sunken continent and that most of the completed statues were resting under the water.
20. Later careful studies debunked the sunken continent myth and it is now believed that while carving the statues on tuff (a soft rock), craftsmen would deliberately leave them incomplete if they came across any hard rock inclusion and started carving a different statue. Also, some of the statues were incomplete simply because the carving era came to an end.