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What Is Easter Island

QUESTION: What is Easter Island?


What is Easter Island? Easter Island is a single volcano peak in the South Pacific Ocean that rises above the water. It is known as Easter Island today because of its discovery by a Dutch sea captain on Easter Sunday in 1722. The island’s original name is Te Pito o Te Henua, which means center or navel of the world.

The island has a rich and intriguing history. It is not certain where the first inhabitants came from; possibly Polynesia. Once teeming with forests and migratory birds, the island was stripped of its resources in order to provide fuel and transportation during the moving of pagan stone idols. These stone idols, which stand up to 14 feet tall, dot the perimeter of the entire island. They look out to sea as if they are waiting for someone’s arrival or warding off other spirits.

The island is 64 square miles in area and supports one major town of paved roads. Traveling outside of town requires a sturdy vehicle, as the roads are made of dirt for the remainder of the island. The only water source is in the town, too. Therefore all of the population, including the Chilean army, resides in the town of Hanga Roa.

There is no crime on Easter Island, but this is not because of the military presence there. The culture is very primitive, and the only visitors are those who can afford to vacation on the island. Besides, there’s no place to hide if the only source of food or water is in town!

Being 2200 miles from any other land, your only transportation to and from the island is by sea or air. There are no cruise ships that have Easter Island on their itinerary. The smaller ships that do visit the island have to anchor out in the harbor because of the treacherous rocky shore. Ferries shuttle the passengers to and from the island.

Learn More About Easter Island!

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