In 2012, the world was astonished to learn that there is more to the famous Easter Island Heads—the anciently carved giant stone heads actually have torsos.
Giant moai statues dot the grassy flanks of an extinct volcano on Easter Island. The world heritage site island is famous for its 900 giant stone figures. Meanwhile, across the entire island, many moai statues are reversing the creation process and deteriorating rapidly from priceless carvings back into plain rocks.
The volcanic stone is subject to weathering, and intensive conservation efforts are needed to help preserve Rapa Nui’s stone legacy in its present, awe-inspiring state.
“Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of visitors to the island have been astonished to see that, indeed, Easter Island statues have bodies!” Tilburg told the Daily Mail UK.
Excavation projects led by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project and locals, helped the team excavate these amazing monoliths.
It was discovered that the torsos of the mysterious monoliths have tattoos on them. Crescent symbols intricately carved on the back of the statues represent the canoes (narrow boats) of the Polynesians who came to the island across vast bodies of water.
Ten meters high and weighing more than 80 tons each, the Easter Island statues were sculpted from light, porous rocks around A.D. 100 and 1800. Over the long course of time, the bodies of the statues became hidden under the ground.
The mysterious and beautifully tattooed statues are believed to be representations of sacred tribal figures and ancestors.
Photo credit: Mirror UK