I’m Gareth, the Unusual Duck-Billed Playtypus, on another adventure around the world. This time I’m off to Rapa Nui, or as it’s also known: Easter Island! This tiny and remote island has a fascinating history. Oh, and there’s these big stone heads called moai all over the place!
Fun Facts about Easter Island
- When Dutch ships first landed at Rapa Nui in 1722, the explorers called it Easter Island because they arrived on Easter Sunday!
- ‘Rapa Nui’ is the original name for Easter Island, and also the name of the original inhabitants and their descendants.
- At Rano Raraku is where all these majestic (and very heavy) stone moai were made. No one knows how they moved across the island… Legend says they walked!
- The stone hat you see is called a pukao! It is made of red volcanic rock and represents the hairstyle of high-ranking ancestors back in the day.
- The ancestors of the people living on Rapa Nui would hold races to Moto Nui as part of the ‘Birdman’ ceremonies. Every September, each clan would select one member to swim through shark-infested waters to find an egg on a small nearby islet, and bring it back (uncracked) to the clan!
- Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth. Chile, the closest mainland, is over 2,174 miles away!