DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Easter Island statues. Half-buried moai statues at Rano Raraku on Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in the South Pacific. These megalithic statues were carved from volcanic rock by the islanders from 400-1500 AD. Around 1000 statues were carved, with about 100 of these re-erected by archaeologists. As here, many remain on the slopes of the volcano where they were carved out of the rock. They are now buried in the soil formed by centuries of erosion. The statues range between 3 and 12 metres in height and weigh up to 85 tonnes. Carving and erection ceased as deforestation led to the total collapse of the island's culture and ecosystem.
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