NARRATOR: Isolated in the vast expanse of the South Pacific,
Easter Island remains a land of mystery.
Since its discovery by Europeans in the 18th century,
very little is still known about the people who once
lived there or their origins.
But of all the mysteries involving the island, otherwise
known as Rapa Nui, the most persistent
involve the nearly 900 megalithic statues
known as moai and why they were put here in the first place.
The moai are considered to be no more than perhaps
a thousand years old.
However, it has been established that some of them
penetrate down into the ground by a great amount
of feet to reveal the rest of the body, not
just the oversized head.
And the amount of patination suggests
that they are infinitely older than a thousand years
and could go back many, many, many millennia.
When you visit Easter Island and you
look at the sites there, the statues, the megalithic walls,
you realize they're much older than what,
you know, history tells us.
NARRATOR: Further clouding the issue is a discovery
that was made in 2017.
With the help of photography and 3D modeling programs,
archaeologists discovered that the 13-ton stone hats known
as pukao on the Easter Island moai
contain a wide diversity of petroglyphs
made by what appear to be different groups of people.
The hats that are on top of the Easter Island moai
are a little bit of a mystery.
But recently they've been analyzed,
and carvings have been found on them, which
has, like, questioned, you know, the idea
of what they really represent.
Perhaps there is something else going on here.
It could well be that a number of different cultures
lived on Easter Island.
One of the most fascinating monuments on Easter Island
is the stone platform, or ahu, known as Vinapu,
and this is a huge megalithic construction
that is essentially a wall made of cyclopean megalithic blocks
that all interlock with each other.
When you look at this, you cannot help but think of Cusco
in Peru, and there has to be a relationship
between the two cultures.
All of these are part of a much bigger transmission
of knowledge where the belief--
common belief was an origin amongst the stars.