10 Fascinating Theories Surrounding Easter Island
The 887 large moai statues on Easter Island have turned probably the most remoted islands in the world into some of the properly known—and most mysterious. With every year, extra theories come up regarding the island, the statues, and the Rapa Nui individuals who as soon as lived there. Listed here are some of probably the most fascinating ones.
10 The Moai Walked
A longstanding level of contention over the years has been just how the moai statues on Easter Island obtained to their remaining resting locations. The tallest of the statues, “Paro,” stands at virtually 10 meters (33 ft) and weighs in at seventy four metric tons (82 tons). Stone Island Jacket All of them are immensely hard to move.
In the early ’80s, researchers tried to recreate among the statues and transfer them utilizing solely instruments that the islanders needed to their disposal. They discovered this virtually impossible to do. Then in 1987, American archaeologist Charles Love managed to move a 9-metric ton (10 ton) replica. He put it on a makeshift vehicle consisting of two sledges, and he and 25 males rolled the statue forty six meters (one hundred fifty ft) in simply two minutes.
Ten years after this feat, Czech engineer Pavel Pavel and Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl constructed their own statue of the same size. They tied one rope around its head and another around its base. With the help of 16 people, they rocked the statue from facet to facet. They reduce the train quick as a result of they have been damaging the statue, however Heyerdahl estimated that they could otherwise have moved the statue (or one twice as big) 100 meters (330 ft) per day.
Americans Terry Hunt and Carl P. Lipo have not too long ago investigated the sensational principle that the Rapa Nui individuals tied ropes across the large moai statues and moved them into place with a walking motion. Their team managed to move a replica 100 meters (330 ft) in this manner. They also argue that this explains Rapa Nui folklore, which tells of the statues strolling, animated by magic.
A widely known principle states that the island natives cleared massive forests to make room for agriculture, mistakenly thinking the trees would grow back fast enough to sustain the environment. The rising inhabitants simply added to the issue, and the island ultimately simply couldn’t help its inhabitants. This principle was particularly popularized by Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by UCLA geographer Jared Diamond. Diamond names Easter Island as the most prominent example of useful resource misuse destroying a whole society.
Now, nonetheless, a brand new principle suggests that there’s little or no evidence this happened. The Rapa Nui people were in actual fact very intelligent agricultural engineers. Intensive study shows that the islanders’ agricultural fields had been intentionally fertilized by volcanic rock.
Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo, of their persevering with examine of Easter Island, additionally theorize that though the islanders cleared many of the forest, they changed it with grasslands. The pair don’t believe that any self-inflicted catastrophe killed the islanders. Anthropologist Mara Mulrooney helps Lipo and Hunt within the matter. Her radiocarbon information signifies that Easter Island was inhabited for a lot of centuries, and its inhabitants solely dropped after Europeans began frequenting it.
Eight The Rats Did It
Lipo and Hunt supply an alternative rationalization for the inhabitants drop. The lack of predators and an overflow of meals on the island have supplied a paradise for rats hiding within the canoes of the island’s earliest settlers. Though the natives reduce and burned timber, it was the rats that prevented regrowth by feasting on the brand new plants.
However whereas rats may have harm the island’s ecosystem, they gave the islanders a brand new meals supply. The invention of rat bones in rubbish dumps on the island signifies that the natives dined on the rodents. This kept them fed whereas they labored at constructing their fields to maintain themselves lengthy-time period.
7 Alien Transport
A well-liked goofy principle in regards to the Easter Island moai says that the large statues have been created (or, alternatively, influenced) by aliens.
Writer Erich von Daniken helped unfold this theory with his guide Chariots of the Gods : Unsolved Mysteries of the Past. Daniken also believes the ancient Egyptians couldn’t probably have constructed the pyramids by themselves as they lacked the intelligence and power. Related theories clarify the Mayan pyramids and the Nazca line drawings.
The stone used to build the moai was truly taken from the island itself, from an extinct volcano on the northeastern side, not from one other planet. There’s no precise thriller about who constructed the statues. The one actual thriller is why they did so. Many island researchers totally imagine that every of the statues represent the top of a family. This, however, stays hypothesis.
6 The Street Much less Traveled
In 2010, archaeologists introduced that they’d debunked a 50-yr-previous principle about how the moai have been moved across the island. Thor Heyerdahl revealed this principle in 1958, stating that the ancient roads on the island were the islanders’ main route of transport. As proof, moai have been discovered facedown or on their again subsequent to those roads, maybe abandoned throughout transport for unknown reasons.
Heyerdahl was disputing British archaeologist Katherine Routledge’s 1914 theory, which said the roads were built for ceremonial functions. Latest investigation suggests Routledge was right in spite of everything. The roads have been concave, which might have made it extraordinarily difficult to move heavy statues along them. The fallen statues simply fell over from where they were standing as time handed.
The recent archaeological team notes that the roads all lead to the extinct volcano Rano Raraku. This means that the volcano was likely seen because the sacred primary level or middle of the island.
5 The Writing System
In what has been labeled a “wacky theory,” Robert M. Schoch claimed in 2012 that the writing system of Easter Island is actually 10,000 years older than popularly believed. This also makes the island itself older than initially thought.
The man got here up with this principle after exploring Gobekli Tepe, a set of historical stones in Turkey believed to have been erected 12,000 years in the past. The site bears no evidence of settlement or farming, indicating that it may have been built solely for the purpose of holding ritualistic ceremonies.
Schoch additionally disagrees with the accepted date of the Giza Sphinx, saying that it was truly constructed between 5000 and 7000 B.C. This declare is totally unsupported; no proof suggests any civilization existed or worked in the Giza area around 7000 B.C. Shoch argues that Gobekli Tepe and the Sphinx were both built by hunter-gatherers.
The Gobekli Tepe pillars and the moai statues on Easter Island are virtually the identical, says Schoch, due to similarities within the within the type of the figures and the palms. He disregards the 12,000 years of difference between the two ancient places, and he ignores that the Easter Island heads are large while the Turkish pillar figures are thin and haven’t any discernible heads.
Shoch additionally believes that the rongo rongo script of Easter Island might have recorded a plasma occasion within the sky many hundreds of years ago. Plasma in modern times refers to thunderstorms, lightning, and auroras.
4 Long Ears vs Short Ears
Author Rupert Ivan Murrill mentions in his Cranial and Postcranial Skeletal Stays from Easter Island that skulls discovered on the island have been lengthy stubs and narrow. Evidence was also found of long ears. Aku-Aku by Thor Heyerdahl mentions a deadly fight or war between the quick-eared and lengthy-eared individuals of Easter Island.
The story goes that the lengthy-eared individuals, who’d inhabited the island first, dug a ditch round 1675 and stuffed it with brushwood. A long-eared man revealed to his short-eared wife that his people planned to lead all the short-ears into the ditch and burn them. The shocked quick-eared lady instructed her individuals of the plans, betraying her husband to save lots of her individuals.
A fight broke out, and the short-eared people chased the long-eared people to the ditch. Then they burned them, women and children included. Solely two lengthy-ears survived, fleeing to a close by cave. The quick-ears adopted them and killed one in every of them, leaving just one long-eared survivor.
Heyerdahl described the long-ears as Peruvians, meaning they would antedate the short-ears, who were thought to be Polynesians. Captain James Cook visited Easter Island between 1772 and 1775 and noticed many individuals with lengthy earlobes, which raises some questions in regards to the accuracy of the tale.
3 The Stone Bodies
Scientists excavating around the moai statues on the island in 2011 revealed the massive stone heads to be attached stone bodies buried torso-deep in the ground. Heyerdahl had excavated one such statue decades before, and the brand new dig uncovered statues 7 meters (23 ft) tall. On the bodies of the torsos are undeciphered petroglyphs.
The challenge director, Jo Anne Van Tilburg, also confirmed more interesting discoveries, including ropes connecting a statue to a tree trunk in a deep hole. Her theory is that the Rapa Nui people used the ropes and trunk to tug the statue to an upright place. Before they did this, they carved the petroglyphs into the front of the statue. After, they carved more into the back.
Another fascinating discovery included red pigment in a hole used for burial. Van Tilburg is convinced that the natives used the pigment to paint the moai just as they used it to paint themselves for rituals and ceremonies. She additionally believes that the invention of human bones signifies that people were buried around the statues, and ancient priests used the crimson pigment as part of a burial apply.
2 The Birdman Cult
The Rano Kau crater on the island, residence to the Orongo village, turned the positioning of a competition to honor the fertility god Makemake. The winner would be the person who could make it down the very steep slopes of the crater, swim in the open sea, and make it to a nearby islet without being eaten by a shark. On the islet could be an egg that wanted to be brought back to the main island intact. The islander who achieved this feat was named Birdman for the 12 months and assumed leadership. The Birdman cult became the main religion on the island up until 1867.
In the course of the time of the Birdman competition and religion, the islanders were inspired to rebuild their home and become the sturdy people they once had been. They didn’t succeed. During a single 12 months, they became so infected with stone island sweater orange disease and bothered with harm that they were left broken and unable to turn the state of affairs around. At the worst possible time, missionaries arrived at the island and converted the islanders to Christianity. Their traditional clothes, tattoos, and body paint had been stone island sweater orange history. Artwork, buildings, and rongo rongo tablets have been destroyed.
Ultimately, the Rapa Nui islanders lived on a small section of the island, whereas the remainder of the place was used for ranching. At present, very few folks remain with true ties to the original Rapa Nui folks.
Tukuturi is a moai statue present in a sitting or kneeling place, thought to symbolize an historical singer. The place resembles that of ancient people celebrating the festival of rui. The statue’s head is inclined higher than any of its counterparts, and it even sports a beard.
Tukuturi is too much smaller than the remainder of the moai statues, and its facial options are much more human-like. This distinctive statue was not made from the identical material as the others. Instead, red Puna Pua stone was used. It seems to gaze toward Orongo, spurring theories that the statue was somehow related to the Birdman cult as properly.
One other principle speculates that Tukuturi could also be the results of experimentation with new carving techniques. The statue’s legs, knees, and buttocks are well defined, and some find the kneeling position indicative of vigilance and persistence. Tukuturi was uncovered throughout the ’50s and stays probably the most intriguing of all the statues found on the island.
Estelle lives in Johannesburg, Gauteng. She loves all things unusual and mysterious and hopes to visit Easter Island someday.