A recent demonstration of this was recorded on a You Tube video (below) by Terry Hunt, a University of Hawaii professor, and Carl Lipo, a professor at California State University Long Beach.It is also noted by Hunt and Lipo that the deforestation of the island may not have led to a food crisis.
Their place of origin is a mystery and may have been the Marquesas Islands, located 2,300 miles (3,700 km) to the northwest of Rapa Nui.
Another suggestion is Rarotonga, located 3,200 miles (5,200 km) to the southwest of the island.
The statues on their platforms can be found ringing almost the entire coast of the island.
Remarkably, despite their seaside location, every single one of the moai appears to face inland and not out to sea, suggesting that they were meant to honour people or deities located within Rapa Nui itself.
Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island (a name given to it by Europeans), is located in the southeast Pacific and is famous for its approximately 1,000 carvings of moai, human-faced statues.
The island measures about 14 miles (22 km) by 7 miles (11 km) at its furthest points and it is often said that it can be traversed by foot in a single day.While this helps explain how the statues were moved around the island, it doesn’t explain why.Scholars don’t know what the reasons were for creating the statues, but they have noted several features that provide clues.They point out in their book, "The Statues that Walked" (Free Press, 2011) that abundant rocks on the island allowed for the construction of stone-protected gardens known as “manavai.” These stone gardens would have been supported by lithic mulching, a process by which minerals from rocks fertilize the soil.The people of the island, it appears, had enough food not only to build and move statues, but also to develop a written script, today known as Rongorongo, which researchers are still trying to decipher.Owen has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University.