People from all over the world have been wondering about the massive stone statues found on Easter Island. Approximately 900 of the figures exist and they are humongous stone heads that are called moai.
Those heads are found on Easter Island, located off the coast of Chile. Although the question of who built the moai and how they did it has remained a mystery for centuries, it seems as if they finally have the surprising answers that everyone has been looking for.
One scientist now claims that he has uncovered the mystery to why the statues were built. His explanation is almost too good to be believable.
Experts believe that the moai were built between the years 1200 and 1600 by the native Rapa Nui culture who inhabited the island.
It would seem unlikely that the Rapa Nui would be able to move those 13 foot tall statues made entirely out of stone. Considering the fact that there are hundreds of those statues, it may just seem impossible. Perhaps we have just been underestimating human ingenuity.
After the giant statues were carved out of local stone, they were raised to an erect position through the use of a pulley system. It then only took three ropes and a team of workers who ‘walked’ the moai into position, according to what the researchers found.
Wally Wellington, a construction worker who built a Stonehenge replica using ancient technology used a very similar technique. That technique was to roll and slide the huge blocks into place.
There are some other features about the moai that still requires some explanation. One of those mysteries is why they are partially buried in some cases.
Many of the statues have the entire body above ground but some of the larger are only giant heads. When you dig below the surface, however, you will find that they are actually quite large. Some of the tallest are as much as 33 feet high with the bodies hidden underground. Those bodies include long arms and short legs.
Additional evidence shows that the moai were decorated by those who lived on the islands. They may have had coral eyes and some still wear the traditional pukao hat.
Another question that has really stumped experts for hundreds of years is not how they were built but why they were built.
Unfortunately, the native population that lived on the island could not pass on the information. They were practically wiped out by the European slave trade and disease.
When the Rapa Nui culture died, it was thought that the meaning and origins of the moai died along with them.
According to some accounts from Europeans to were on the island in the 18th century, these statues may have a rather unusual meaning.
According to their writings, the native population was able to drink untreated seawater. Any scientist will tell you that untreated seawater is undrinkable.
The island has very few resources for fresh water because the volcanic soil pulls in any rainwater quickly.
According to historical records, however, as many as 20,000 people lived on the island before the Europeans arrived. How did they survive without fresh water?
A land survey that was published in Hydrogeology Journal says that the mystery of the giant statues is connected to the mystery of the water supply on the island.
An archaeologist named Carl Lipo shows that the water absorbed into the island soil will flow to the sea at low tide. The mixture of salty and fresh water is drinkable.
The giant statues are often found near the sources of fresh water or the coast. They may actually be helping local tribes by pointing the way to a water source.
By marking the spots with statues and constructing structures for the collection of fresh water, it may just show how that culture was able to survive for so long.
Additional research will need to be conducted on the subject but according to Lipo, the research is ‘tantalizingly close’ to figuring out a mystery that has been hidden for centuries.