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Easter Island: Moai
Almost 900 ancient, gigantic statues made of volcanic rock dot Easter Island. These "moai" date from between AD 1400 and AD 1600. The average moai weighs about 14 tons and is about 14 feet tall ; the biggest moai is an enormous 72-feet-long moai called "El Gigante" that is lying on the ground at the Rano Raraku Quarry. The moai are located single or in groups on sacred mounds or stone bases, called "ahu," circling Easter Island. No one knows exactly how or why the monumental statues were made, or what they represent.
Easter Island, also called Rapa Nui, is a very small, isolated island in the southern Pacific Ocean; it belongs to Chile. Easter Island was given its western name by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, when he spotted the island on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1722.
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