Polynesia is a region in the Pacific Ocean. In the region of Polynesia there are many islands. One of those islands is called Easter Island because it was discovered by Europeans at Easter time. Easter Island is 2400 miles from South America. A Dutch navigator named Jacob Roggeveen was sailing in the area in 1722, when he came upon this isolated Island in the Pacific. While exploring the island, Jacob and his crew came of hundreds of colossal statues that looked like giant heads. It is the statues that have been the subject of great mystery for over 250 years.

In native Polynesian, Easter Island is called "Rapa Nui" and the statues are called "maoi." Hundreds of statues can be found scattered all over the island. They are usually the symbol we see in pictures of Easter Island and their strangeness has peaked our curiosity and interest for many years. Archaeologists, anthropologists, engineers and other explorers have been trying to figure them out for decades. The statues are also of great interest to the paranormal community and many bizarre claims have been proposed to explain the mysteries of Easter Island.

On the Mysterious Places web site you can explore Easter Island and learn about how the big headed statues were built.

In the introduction you can meet the people who first discovered and inhabitated the Island. They called themselves the Rapa Nui and they developed a community on Easter Island and built these great statues out of volcanic rock.

You can take a virtual tour of the island and visit many of the ruins that have been found on Easter Island:

In the Easter Island Story you can learn how the Rapa Nui first landed on Easter Island, what they did when they got there and how they carved these colossal heads out of the rock.
  1. The Arrival of the Rapa Nui
  2. The Construction of the Maoi
  3. Erecting the Statues
  4. Conflict
  5. A New Cult
  6. Lessons from the Past?

Now you can look at some of the mysteries about Easter Island and the giant headed statues:

Who were the Easter Islanders?

How Were the Statues Moved?

Other Great Resources on Easter Island:

Easter Island Home Page

Multimedia Easter Island Tour

NOVA's Secrets of Easter Island

Sail of the Century: The Voyage to Rapa Nui

Alternative Theories about Easter Island


The content and activities in this area have been created through cooperation with Cliff Wassmann and The Mysterious Places Web.