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November 16 2012
Easter Island was once home to lush palm forests. Over time, however, the humans who settled there depleted the islandís resources, leading to wars among clans that doomed the population.
Their legacy, the giant stone sculptures called moai, have drawn intense interest and fascination ever since Europeans discovered them in 1722. One theory posits that the early Polynesians who settled on the island, also known as Rapa Nui, cut down trees for logs to roll the statues from their quarries to their overlook positions. Competition among clans led to ever bigger moai and, ultimately, to the destruction of the forest.
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