A Polynesian society blossomed in this unlikely locale after hardy souls somehow navigated a fleet of wooden outrigger canoes to this tiny speck in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. Here, in isolation some 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers) west of South America and 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) from the nearest neighboring island, the Rapa Nui developed a distinct architectural and artistic culture. That culture reached its zenith during the tenth to 16th centuries, when the Rapa Nui carved and erected some 900 moai across the island.
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The Mysteries of the Moai on Easter Island | National Geographic