Discovery of a new moai statue in a dry lagoon

Yet scrutinized by scientists, Easter Island still holds treasures. A new moai, these characteristic statues of this Chilean territory in the Pacific Ocean, has been discovered in a dry lagoon of the crater of a volcano, indicated the indigenous community in charge of the administration of the national park of the island.

“This is a truly unique discovery, as it is the first time that a moai has been discovered inside the Rano Raraku crater lake,” said the Ma’u Henua community, which manages Rapa National Park. Nui where the volcano is located, believing that this discovery could open new perspectives on the history of the island.

A lagoon “which began to dry up in 2018”

The moai was discovered on February 21 by a team of scientists from three Chilean universities who are collaborating with the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf) to recover a wetland located in the Rano Raraku crater, affected by a fire last October. . “This moai sits in the center of a lagoon that began to dry up in 2018,” said Ninoska Avareipua Huki Cuadros, director of the Ma’u Henua Indigenous Community.

“What is interesting is that, at least during the last 200 or 300 years, the lagoon has been three meters deep, so no human being could have left this moai there”, underlined the one who is also the head of Conaf on the island also known as Rapa Nui.

Statues that can reach 20 meters high

The moai, which measures 1.60 meters, was discovered lying on its side, “with a full body and recognizable but not clearly defined features”, said the Ma’u Henua community, which says it is “looking funding to conduct an in-depth study of this discovery.

Isolated in the middle of the Pacific, 3,500 km from the Chilean coast, Easter Island, of Polynesian culture, is world famous for its impressive megaliths of mysterious origin, listed as World Heritage by Unesco. Some statues can reach 20 meters in height and weigh up to 80 tons.

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