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Discover the Easter Island Statue as drought conditions worsen

Discover the Easter Island Statue as drought conditions worsen


March 4, 2023 | 5:56 p.m

New moai were found on Easter Island at the bottom of a crater lake, thanks to the region’s harsh drought conditions.

The Pacific island nation, located about 2,175 miles west of the Chilean coast, is famous for its islands More than 900 Stone statues known as moai. A monolithic moai was carved from volcanic ash by the Rapa Nui people as far back as 1100 AD.

The newly discovered moai were discovered by volunteers from three Chilean universities, who were working on a project to help restore swamps at Rano Raruko volcano, AFP reported.

Ninoska Afaribua Hoki Quadros, director of the Ma’u Henua Aboriginal community that manages Rapa Nui National Park, where the volcano is located, told AFP that the lake where the moai were found began to dry up in 2018.

“The interesting thing is that for at least 200 or 300 years, the laguna was three meters deep, which means no human could have left the moai there at that time,” Hooke said.

There are over 900 moai across Easter Island.
Olsztyn Bild via Getty Images

The recently discovered moai is just five feet tall and researchers found it on its side, looking up into the sky.

The tallest moai are 33 feet tall, and on average, the statues weigh between three and five tons, says Terry Hunt, a professor of archeology at the University of Arizona, I told Good Morning America.

“The Moai are important because they really represent the history of the Rapa Nui people,” Hunt said. They were the deified ancestors of the islanders. They are iconic all over the world, and they truly represent the wonderful archaeological heritage of this island.”

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One expert says that moai weigh an average of three to five tons.
Olsztyn Bild via Getty Images

Jo Ann Van Tilburgh, archaeologist W Easter Island Statue Project Managerfor Fox Weather Those years of severe weatherincluding drought and grass fires, have dried up the lake – the latest discovery.

“At the moment, the problem is to get the conservation team together so they can install the statue because exposure could be problematic for him,” said Van Tilburg.

Several moai in Rapa Nui National Park burned down in October and were damaged beyond repair after a forest fire swept through the area.

Severe drought conditions and grass fires contributed to the drying up of the lake, and the discovery of the last moai.
Source Comunidad Ma’u Henua HANDOUT / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Given current weather conditions and the possibility of future excavations, further Moai discoveries are uncertain, Van Tilburgh said.

“We did a lot of quarry mapping and documentation between 2018 and 2019, and what we found is that there is a lot more evidence of more quarries offshore than we originally thought,” Van Tilburg stated. “One hundred percent will be more discoveries like this.”

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