Scientists Make Easter Island Statues 'Walk' Into Place (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

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Ever wondered how the native inhabitants of Easter Island managed to move their 33 feet, 80 tonne statues - known as 'moai' - to their positions on the coast without any use of wheels or draft animals?

Scientists Hannah Bloch and Carl P. Lipo have, and they've got an answer that seems to fit: it was a combination of manpower, patience and ropes that allowed the statues to 'walk' to their current locations.

This idea, first put forward by anthropologist Terry Hunt, was put into practice with the help of National Geographic, and above is the video footage that proves that the idea is entirely possible.

What makes this all so wonderful is that the Easter Island natives, the Rapanui, have long claimed in their myth and traditions that the statues did indeed walk, so this all fits together rather wonderfully.

“The experts can say whatever they want,” Suri Tuki, a 25-year-old Rapanui man told National Geographic, referring to previous theories. “But we know the truth. The statues walked.” As Bloch explains, "In the Rapanui oral tradition, the moai were animated by mana, a spiritual force transmitted by powerful ancestors."

Find a full explanation of the the various theories of the moai in the July issue of National Geographic, which is already available for the iPad and will hit newsstands on June 26.

For more photos, click over to National Geographic:

Easter Island Statues Were 'Walked'
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Around the Web

Easter Island Home Page

Easter Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Attenborough Explains Easter Island - YouTube