A new moai, these characteristic statues of Easter Island, has been discovered in a dry lagoon of the crater of a volcano in this Chilean territory in the Pacific Ocean, indicated the indigenous community in charge of the administration of the national park. from the island.
"This is a truly unique discovery, as it is the first time that a moai has been discovered inside the Rano Raraku crater lake," the Ma'u Henua community, which manages the park, said in a statement. National Rapa Nui where the volcano is located.
The moai was identified on February 21 by a team of scientists from three Chilean universities who are working with the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf) to recover a wetland located in the Rano Raraku crater, affected by a fire last October. .
Search for funding to conduct an in-depth study
"This moai is in the center of a lagoon that began to dry up in 2018," Ninoska Avareipua Huki Cuadros, director of the Ma'u Henua indigenous community, told Agence France-Presse. "What is interesting is that, at least in the last 200 or 300 years, the lagoon has been three meters deep, so no human being could have left this moai there", underlined the one who is also the head of Conaf on the island also known as Rapa Nui.
The moai, which measures 1.60 meters, was discovered lying on its side, "with a full body and recognizable but not clearly defined features", says the Ma'u Henua community. She says she is "seeking funding to conduct an in-depth study of this discovery."
Isolated in the middle of the Pacific, 3,500 km from the Chilean coast, Easter Island, of Polynesian culture, is world famous for its impressive megaliths of mysterious origin, listed as World Heritage by Unesco. Some statues can reach 20 meters in height and weigh up to 80 tons.