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CHILE – EASTER ISLAND

Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is the remotest inhabited island on the planet, lying 2,250 miles west of continental Chile. With its profusion of giant stone human figures distributed across the landscape, it is a unique and deeply enigmatic place. Who erected the statues? How did they do so using only stone-age technology? What were the statues for? Who knocked them down later, and why? What happened to the people? Did the population self-destruct, or did it fall victim to some ecological disaster? Answers to these and other questions are elusive. Theories abound, of course, but they remain persuasive for only so long as it takes the next one to come along.