Moai statues on Easter Island, Chile
© Karine Aigner/Tandem Stills + Motio
Stony sentinels. Moai statues on Easter Island, Chile
Today we're looking at something you may have heard about before—the famous Moai statues on Chile's remote Easter Island. These big-headed statues were carved out of solidified volcanic ash by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500, and there are nearly 1,000 of them on the island. Archaeologists believe they were meant to honor Rapa Nui ancestors and were revered as symbols of power and authority. All but seven of the statues face away from the surrounding Pacific Ocean, and instead look inward toward the villages, as if positioned to watch protectively over the Rapa Nui.