Scientists Say The Easter Island Statues “Walked”

Mysteries such as the statues on the Easter Island continue to puzzle both laymen and scientists. It looks like each new discovery brings along several other questions. The National Geographic July issue features a piece by archeologist Carl Lipo and anthropologist Terry Hunt. These scientists are saying the Easter Island statues “walked”.

Scientists already debunked the myth that the maoi statues only had heads. A recent discovery showed researchers on site the maoi statues had bodies buried underground. Even with them getting one step closer to the truth, the confirmed existence of bodies and not only heads made it even harder to figure out how the natives moved the statues across the island.

In National Geographic’s July issue, archeologist Carl Lipo and anthropologist Terry Hunt explain a theory that might seem a bit farfetched, given its simplicity. According to the scientists, the Easter Island statues were “walked” to their spots by natives using ropes.

The two experts begin their pledge reminding that what the humanity thinks it knows about the Easter Island it often proves to be false. The Easter Island, they said, was never a great place to live. In fact, as Hunt said, “from a diversity standpoint, it was a catastrophe”. But even with the island’s natural hardships and the small population, natives managed to “engineer their lives in a way that was really stable and sustainable”.

Researchers believe that natives raised the statues on the vertical and then gradually “walked” them to their resting spots. “You’re actually putting a lot of your effort into the process of moving a statue rather than fighting” explained Terry Hunt. “Moving the moai was a little bit like playing a football game” he added.

While some might argue the technique is way too simple to have worked, based on Occam’s razor, “walking” Easter Island statues makes sense. In a nutshell, the simplest solution is the answer. And truth be told, Carl Lipo and Terry Hunt’s theory sounds a bit more practical than the sled-like devices some said natives must have used to move the massive statues.

An experiment was made to test Lipo and Hunt’s theory. 18 people managed to move a 5-ton statue using only ropes. The statue was rocked forth and forward, and on each of its sides there were 4 people working the ropes. Another 10 were pulling the ropes from behind the statue.

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Eli Wads is one of our expert authors in technology and business fields.Currently living in San Marino, Eli has graduated at Southwestern Academy with a Bachelor Degree in business in 2008. Contact him by dropping him an e-mail at

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