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Moai are huge stone carvings that can be found on the most isolated island in the world. Easter Island, where the Moai can be found, is a stretch of volcanic rock situated in the South Pacific. The island was known as Te Pito O Te Henua by its inhabitants, meaning "navel of the world."
Easter Island was given its name by Admiral Roggeveen, who found the island on Easter day in 1722. The Moai are huge monolithic carvings that dot the coastline of the island. Rapa Nui is the local name given to Easter Island, its inhabitants, and their language.
The Moai statues were made from compressed volcanic ash, and each statue was carved in one large piece. The Moai carvings consist of heads and partial torsos that rise above the ground. There are thought to be around 600 to 800 carvings visible on the island.
The height and weight of the Moai are truly staggering. The largest carving is around 33 feet (10 meters) high and weighs in at 83 tons. The Moai were all carved in quarries, and there are some unfinished carvings still evident in the quarries.
There are many myths and legends regarding the Maoi. Once source claims that they were the work of extra-terrestrials. A more credible theory is that they were made by Polynesian settlers thousands of years ago. They are thought to represent ancestors and living chiefs of the original inhabitants.
The task of moving the carvings to their final destinations must have taken a supreme effort by the islanders. The method used is thought to be similar to the Egyptian method used to build the pyramids. Ropes, rollers, and human strength would have been all that were used to move these huge figures.
A recent Moai discovery concerns the carving of the eyes. A toppled statue found in the sand was discovered to have coral set into the eye sockets. Some of the Moai also have red cylinders made of stone placed on their heads.
Whatever the reason for the Moai, they are said to be one of the world's most breathtaking sights. Easter Island itself has one of the most unique and amazing landscapes that can be witnessed. Beautiful beaches, brilliant blue waters, and amazing volcanic formations await in one of the most remote locations in the world.
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