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07 Mar 2009

Easter Island; Cruise Day 40

I can’t believe I was on Easter Island today. It is one of the most remote, inhabited islands in the world. It is more than 2,000 miles away from its closest neighbor.
 
It was settled about 1200 years ago, by a society which today is famous for statues, called Moai, carved out of volcanic rock.


 
We’ve all seen these National Geographic images. Up close and personal they are even more amazing. They average up towards 20 feet high and weigh 20 tons each. Back then, moving them was a bigger feat than carving them. They are all one piece.
 
The Easter Island society almost perished between 1862 and 1877, by a combination of events such as: slave taking, territorial fighting, and mainland diseases (which reduced the population to 111).
 
The name comes from the fact that a European first discovered it on Easter Sunday.