The ‘walking’ figures of Easter Island

Key takeaways: 

  • Living on a remote, desolate isle presented with not many assets, the Rapanui expected to join a brilliant plan with perfect chiseling to move the monstrous moai with practically no hardware.
  • The beachfront breezes whipped across my face as I extended my neck to see the 15 moai before me. 

Facing two stories tall and with their backs to the rough Pacific Ocean, the sculptures’ vacant eye attachments, once decorated with white coral and red scoria, looked lastingly across Easter Island. Their bodies were scratched with mysterious images, and their countenances, with conspicuous foreheads and stretched noses, appeared to be both consolingly human and impressively heavenly.

There are 887 moai dispersed across Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, as the islanders call it. These 15 remained on the Ahu Tongariki plinth, the most significant formal construction on the distant Chilean isle. Gazing toward the excessively enormous heads and legless middles, I found it hard to envision how these monster solid figures – which gauge as much as 88 tons and were worked a long time back – might have even got here. In any case, it wasn’t simply me who was perplexed: analysts have long considered how these profound moai were physically moved across the island.

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A few speculations have been proposed, including utilizing logs to move the sculptures and, surprisingly, the outlandish conviction of extra-earthbound assistance. Notwithstanding, it appears that the mystery lies in the marriage of clever plan and immaculate chiseling, which empowered these humanlike sculptures to stand upstanding and rock forward from side to side while being directed by ropes, giving the sculptures the capacity to “walk.”

The development would have been like the mix of a fridge being moved in a standing position, with each side creeping forward in turn.

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