Moai on Rapi Nui

August 08, 2003


Provided by: Len Sharp, Liverpool HS-Annex
Summary authors & editors: Len Sharp

The above photo was taken on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and shows the giant enigmatic statues called Moai. The statues were hewn out of tuff from the volcanic crater and quarry at Rano Raraku, using basaltic tools from neighboring volcanoes. Whereas, the topknot (Pukao) features are carved from welded red scoria found in the crater Puna Poa (some 4-5 miles or 6-8 km from Rano Raraku), the platforms (Ahu) are composed of rounded basaltic rocks found at TerreVaka or Rano Kau. Easter Island is the most isolated permanently inhabited piece of real estate on Earth -- 2,400 miles (3,840 km) from Chile and about the same distance from Tahiti. A nagging question about the stone monoliths, which hasn't been completely resolved, is how these huge statues were moved to their ultimate Ahus?

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