Animals

What Really Happened On Easter Island?

Lots of theories exist about the inhabitants of Easter Island, but new research says European colonizers might be to blame.

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Easter Island Statues Could Have 'Walked' (Discovery News)
"The giant stone statues in Polynesia's Easter Island may have just been 'walked' out of quarry, according to a controversial new theory on how the monolithic human figures were transported to every corner of the island. In a piece of experimental archaeology, a team of local and U.S. researchers showed that the massive statues, known as moai, can be moved from side to side by a small number of people, just as one might move a fridge."

The Mystery of Easter Island (Smithsonian Magazine)
"Hundreds of years ago, a small group of Polynesians rowed their wooden outrigger canoes across vast stretches of open sea, navigating by the evening stars and the day's ocean swells. When and why these people left their native land remains a mystery."

War May Not Have Led To Easter Island's Ancient Collapse (NPR)
"Conventional wisdom holds that environmental destruction and internecine warfare led to societal and economic collapse on this tiny island located some 2,150 miles off the coast of Chile. For years, the island's demise has been presented as a cautionary tale for our own violent and environmentally destructive times."