Easter Island’s famous statues ‘could be lost to the sea thanks to climate change’

Rob Waugh
Around 100,000 people visit the statues every year (Getty)

They’re one of the most recognisable ancient relics on our planet – but the huge ‘moai’ statues of Easter Island are now under threat from climate change.

The ancient Easter Island people carved and transported the island’s 900 large statues on the island by hand, but storms and waves now pose a threat to the statues, the New York Times reports.

Some climate models predict that sea levels will rise by up to six feet by 2100 – meaning that the coastal sites of the ‘moai’ could be eroded and destroyed.

Foto: azwegers

Camilo Rapu of Ma’u Henua, the organisation behind the Rapa Nui National Park says, ‘You feel an impotency in this, to not be able to protect the bones of your own ancestors. It hurts immensely’.

‘We don’t want people seeing these places through old photos.’


More than 100,000 people visited Easter island last year, the organisation said.

In 2014, a U.N. report warned that some of the statues were, ‘at risk of being lost to the sea because of coastal erosion.’