So are you sure that you really know every minute detail about Easter? Well, there is no doubt that you may be aware of the history and tradition of the Easter, but have you ever heard of the Easter Island? Well, most likely not. Yes, this is simply because very few actually know that there exists such an island on this earth only and from where only this Christian festival derived its name. If the Stonehenge and the pyramids can sweep you off your feet, then expect no less from this island as well. Considered as one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, this UNESCO world heritage site is considered as one of the most amazing existing sites in the planet. Though this island is known as the Easter Island however Rapa Nui is its original name. This treeless volcanic triangular shaped island is located in the South Pacific between Chile and Tahiti. So might be wondering how did this island finally derive its Easter Island name? Well, the whole credit should be conferred upon the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen who ventured upon this isolated land mass on an Easter Sunday in the early 18th century. Continue reading so as to explore more facts about this island and get to know what makes the island so captivating.
Here are some interesting facts about Easter Island:
When Easter Island was first spotted, its explorer found it to be a completely barren island with no plantations.
However, when the Polynesians reached this isolated island in around 400 to 700 A.D, it was a completely changed place, for it was densely covered with palm forests, flecked with hauhau trees and visited with various seabirds like that albatross and boobies. Thus the original inhabitants of Easter Island were believed to be of the Polynesian stock.
Soon in the year 1860's the Tahitian sailors named this island as Rapa Nui, meaning 'Great Rapa,' due to its resemblance to another island in Polynesia called Rapa Iti, meaning 'Little Rapa'.
Finally an explorer named Jacob Roggeveen discovered it in the year 1722, on 5 April. 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.
Considered as one amongst the world’s heritage site, Easter Island is one of the most renowned yet least visited archaeological sites.
This remote island of volcanic origin is located on the Pacific Ocean.
Spread across an area of sixty-three square miles, Easter Island nearly shelters three extinct volcanoes, the tallest nearly rising to a height of 1674 feet.
The Easter Island is a single massive volcano rising over ten thousand feet.
People residing on this island had no means of transport to cross the sea.
Some of the popular names by which Easter Island was also known was that of Te Pito o Te Henua, meaning 'The Center of the World' and Mata-Ki-Te-Rani, which means 'Eyes Looking at Heaven'.
Easter Island's most exquisite feature are its enormous stone statues called Moai, at least 288 of which once stood upon a 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, though the meaning and purpose of these capstones is not yet discovered.