Here is information about Easter Island history. Read about Rapa Nui Easter Island facts.

Easter Island

So you think you know all about Easter? Well, there is no doubt that you may be aware of the tradition and history of the Easter, but have you ever heard of the Easter Island? Most likely not. Yes, this is because very few are aware of the fact that there exists on this earth an island that happens to be the Christian festival's namesake. If the pyramids and the Stonehenge sweep you off your feet, expect no less from this particular island. Considered to be one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, this UNESCO world heritage site is truly one of the amazing existing sites in the planet. The original name of the Easter Island is Rapa Nui. A treeless island of volcanic origin, Easter Island is a triangular island located in the South Pacific between Chile and Tahiti. Wondering how did the name Easter Island come into existence? The credit goes to the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen who chanced upon this isolated land mass on Easter Sunday in the early 18th century. You need to explore the segment below to know what makes the island so intriguing.

Here are some Rapa Nui Easter Island facts:
  • Easter Island, which is also a world heritage site, is one of the most renowned yet least visited archaeological sites.
  • Easter Island is spread across an area of sixty-three square miles and shelters three extinct volcanoes, the tallest rising to 1674 feet.
  • The island is a single massive volcano rising over ten thousand feet.
  • This remote island of volcanic origin is located on the Pacific Ocean.
  • People residing on this island had no means of transport for crossing the sea.
  • When the island was spotted, its explorer found it to be a completely barren island with no plants on it.
  • However, when the Polynesians reached this isolated island in around 400 to 700 A.D, the scene had completely changed. It was no more a barren land but a densely covered palm forests, flecked with hauhau trees and seabirds like albatross and boobies.
  • In the 1860's Tahitian sailors gave the island the name Rapa Nui, meaning 'Great Rapa,' due to its resemblance to another island in Polynesia called Rapa Iti, meaning 'Little Rapa'.
  • An explorer called Jacob Roggeveen in the year 1722, on 5 April, discovered it. It's said that when he reached the location, he spotted about 200 giant statues along the coast. They were huge sized, about 82 tons in size. Apart from these statues, other such 700 giant statues were located at a distant level.
  • The original inhabitants of Easter Island were believed to be of Polynesian stock.
  • Some of the popular names by which Easter Island was known as Te Pito o Te Henua, meaning 'The Center of the World' and Mata-Ki-Te-Rani, meaning 'Eyes Looking at Heaven'.
  • Easter Island's most famous features are its enormous stone statues called moai, at least 288 of which once stood upon massive stone platforms called ahu. There are some 250 of these ahu platforms spaced approximately one half mile apart to create an almost unbroken line around the perimeter of the island.
  • A small number of the moai were once capped with 'crowns' or 'hats' of red volcanic stone. The meaning and purpose of these capstones is not known.