Easter Island Statues: New Theory Explains How Rapa Nui Moai Were Moved (Photos, VIDEO)
For most, the mention of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, the small, remoted island more than 2,000 miles off the coast of South America, conjures photographs of big statues generally known as moai.
But ever since Dutch explorers found the island on Easter Sunday in 1722, people have wondered how the Rapanui, the island’s native inhabitants, were able to transport the a whole bunch of big sculptures from the quarry where they had been carved to stone platforms throughout the island, all without the use of wheels or draft animals.
Over the last sixty years, scientists have theorized that the Rapanui moved the moai — some of which are as tall as 33 feet and weigh more than 80 tons — using numerous methods, from strapping the statues to tree trunks and dragging them on the ground to rolling them on sleds over felled trees.
But in the July subject of National Geographic, Hannah Bloch explores the most recent theory, put forward by Terry Hunt, an archeologist at the University of Hawaii, and Carl Stone Island Hoodies accessory P. Lipo, an anthropologist at California State University Long Beach.