These pictures of Easter Island show off the famous Moai heads that line the coast. Learn about these mysterious structures and the island they call home.
This is but one of the nearly 900 abandoned statues of Easter Island, which lies in the Pacific Ocean thousands of miles west of Chile. Explore more of the island and its statues in this gallery.
Easter Island was given its common name by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, the first known European visitor. Its Polynesian name is Rapa Nui.
In this circa 1790 sketch, European explorers measure and record details of the moai, which represent deified ancestors of the natives. European explorers first arrived on the island on Easter Sunday 1722.
Easter Island's jagged, volcanic coastline has forbidding cliffs. The moai line much of the coast, as you'll see on the next page.
Almost half of the stone moai are still in the main quarry, but there are many along Easter Island's coast to protect the Rapanui people. See the moai up close the next photos.
This stone head, like many on the island, is partially buried. Some of the statues stood more than 30 feet tall before they were toppled.
Much of Easter Island is designated as Rapa Nui National Park, which is included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
In the years after the European arrival, many of the Moai were toppled as a result of conflicts among the island clans.
Many of the moai were erected again. The one in the background has been restored to include replica eyes and a topknot.
These seven huge moai at Ahu Akivi are the only ones facing the sea -- all the others face inland. See another shot of these famous statues on the next page.
The moai at Ahu Akivi lie in the interior of Easter Island. They were restored in 1960.
A tourist takes pictures of moai monoliths near the Rano Raraku volcano. There are three main volcanoes on the island and many smaller ones. See Easter Island's largest volcano on the next page.
Easter Island's largest volcano, Rano Kau, holds a lake in its mile-wide crater. Learn more about the island and its famous statues in How Easter Island Works.