Easter Island off the coast of Chile holds many mysteries and hidden secrets.
What caused the demise of the Rapa Nui natives? Why did they build all the stone moai statues? Why is this the Earth’s Navel? We answer now all of these questions and more.
Who were the Rapa Nui natives?
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui is thought to have been inhabited by tens of thousands of decedents of Polynesian natives from various tribes. Being one of the remotest islands in the world, when the Europeans discovered it, there were reports of a population of only 3,000 natives. However, Captain Cook was surprised at the amount of spears found about the island, corroborating a theory that the natives were the remnants of a greater community, the survivors of a huge conflict or even a war.
In an attempt to find peace between the warring tribes, the natives held an annual Birdman Contest. Participants from the different tribes would have to climb down the cliff face, swim to the adjacent island and retrieve an egg from a specific bird, before swimming back to shore. The first tribe to bring back the egg, would rule the island for the year.
Were the statues made by the Iluminati?
No. Next question.
The Moai are statues that the Rapanui made to honor past leaders and some believe to protect the natives from volcanic eruptions, sunamis and even leprosy according to one theory. This explains the Moais’ over exaggerated features, as if compensating for the disease’s disfiguring symptoms.
It has also been discovered that the huge Moai heads strewn about the island have equally huge bodies buried beneath the earth! All made from volcanic rock in the quarries of Rano Raraku, from where they were then transported up to 11 miles to the shore of the island.
How did they move the Moai?
Captain Cook believed there to have been a population of tens of thousands of Rapanui, for how else could they have moved each Moai 11 miles? One theory is by using ropes and just 18 people it is possible they ‘walked’ the statues from the quarry to the shore.
The Navel of the World
Jakob Roggeveen landed on Rapa Nui on Easter Sunday in 1722, and ingeniously named it Easter Island. However, Rapa Nui actually means “the navel of the world.” and among the island’s bizarre sculptures is the Navel. A perfectly spherical stone brought by the first ruler of the island, which stops compasses from working in its presence and some believe it possesses spiritual powers…
The tiny island of 163 square kilometres, was formed by 3 volcanoes, and has a fourth inactive one and over 70 vent holes. It’s no wonder the natives left!
There is also a system of glyphs written in Rongorongo. Numerous attempts to decipher them have been made, none successful.
What happened to the Rapanui?
So what happened to the thousands of natives that Jakob Roggeveen and Captain Cook reported to have seen? The most popular theories are that the natives overexploited their resources, cutting down the ample forests, perhaps aided by Polynesian rats brought in their boats, which fed on the palm roots. The wars between tribes, led to a serious decline in the population and the remainder were captured in raids.
Which of these strange theories surprised you the most?