Were The Giant Easter Island Statues Simply Walked To Where We Found Them?

Like the mystery of how the great pyramids in Egypt were built, no one's really sure how the giant Moia statues on Easter Island were transported to the platforms where they were later discovered. But researchers think they might have finally figured it out.

As part of an upcoming National Geographic/NOVA special, Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo tested a new theory of how the island's residents might have moved the giant statues from quarries to their final resting places. And it didn't involved rolling logs, ancient cranes, or help from a UFO. Instead, as is demonstrated with this 10-foot tall 5-ton replica, three teams tugging on a set of ropes could have 'walked' the Moia statues across the island with some strategically choreographed tugs.

The real statues would have been a lot bigger, but since the island had the manpower to create the giant statues in the first place, they certainly would have had enough people to make such an approach plausible. But we don't think that cool alien theory should be dismissed just yet. [YouTube via National Geographic]


Comments

    Not only is this the most plausible method I've heard of, the longshot of the statue 'strolling' down the path is quite cool

    LOL! Sow they used the old heavy wardrobe/fridge style of moving them?
    Interesting, but I tend to think it's very unlikely since it involves playing around with the centre of gravity and balance- which means only the smallest mistake and the thing crashes down catastrophically, most likely to smash. And where are all the big broken pieces from the accidents then? If they'd have moved them away they couldn't have "walked" all the awkward big fragments, so they'd have had to have perfected other more generalised, logical methods in any case. (like rollers etc)

      I was thinking the same thing. Unless the island is more or less flat and they were willing to spend months getting them in place and as you mention where are the accidental stuffups?
      +1

      I thought the third rope at the back was to stop it falling forwards. If you watch the video the statue is clearly leaning forward with no slack on the back rope.

      or maybe they just cleaned up the smashed ones and kept on going?
      It seems to me that they probably had plenty of time and manpower on their hands, so a few stuff ups would be negligible and you'd be unlikely to find evidence if they cleaned up or recycled properly..
      Just a thought really.

    what happened to all the trees then?
    i still think it was the tree logs...

    How is this new? i remember seeing a doco in the early 90's which covered this exactly. If you look at the base of the statues, there's wear which is consistant with this kind of activity.

    Your title doesn't make sense

      It makes perfect sense.. How's your grammar?

    They clearly used one of these: http://www.ozstock.com.au/3704/Hercules-Furniture-Mover---Lifter-&-Sliders.html

    A single person can move cars in the ad, can't see why they can't move a Moia

    Aren't the statues much bigger than that below ground?

      That would be icebergs you're thinking of.

      That's what she said...

      The 'below ground' bits always shrink a little in the cold air.

    Isn't it Moai, not Moia?

    The statues had flat botoms and were mounted on platforms. Not buried underground.
    I have a couple of issues with the walking theory.
    1. If the ground was soft the statue would sink in and be very hard to rock/walk.
    2. If the ground was too hard the bottom would chip and wear away.
    3. The larger statues were considerably heavier than 5 tons. Up to 70 tons.
    @Timmah - the Island is pretty flat just the quarry on high ground. There is a network of roads still visible from the quarry to the mounting sites.
    @Just this guy. There are smashed statues that have fallen. When statues did fall over and smash they seem to have been left where they lay. There is little or no evidence to support the "clean up if they break" theory.
    @all, plenty of theories, the most commonly accepted is still the rolling logs one.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now