Friday, March 31, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Easter Island collapse theory questioned


Posted on Friday, 24 January, 2014 | Comment icon 51 comments

Easter Island Moai overlooking the Pacific ocean. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Gallardoval
Academics have cast doubt on the idea that the inhabitants used up all the island's natural resources.
The enigmatic Pacific island has long held the attention of archaeologists who have struggled to understand exactly what it was that wiped out the people famous for building hundreds of giant stone head statues.

The prevailing theory is that the islanders, known as the Rapa Nui, wiped themselves out over time by using up all of the island's resources in their statue-building endeavors, earning them the accolade of being the best known example of a society that destroyed itself through over-exploitation.

In recent years however this idea has been called in to question, mainly on the basis that the Rapa Nui, far from exhibiting such recklessness, seemed to be masters of agricultural engineering and were more than capable of fertilizing the soil sufficiently to grow the crops needed to feed themselves.

Scientific evidence also seems to suggest that the islanders didn't waste all of their resources, with radiocarbon data indicating that the island was utilized well past the point at which European travelers arrived. There is also evidence to suggest that the removal of the trees happened very gradually over the course of several hundred years.

So if over-exploitation wasn't responsible for the islanders' disappearance, then what was ?

Source: Cosmos Magazine | Comments (51)

Tags: Easter Island


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #42 Posted by jeem on 28 January, 2014, 16:00
After what they did to their island? Would you take in a family that trashed their own home? I will help people who need help.Think about this
Comment icon #43 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 28 January, 2014, 16:32
How about their gods(ET) take them in their land(planet) Yes that seems so much more likely than the other possibilities PS. I might have use a little bit of sarcasm above
Comment icon #44 Posted by taniwha on 28 January, 2014, 17:25
I don't understand. I meant North West to New Zealand. ( been having a bit of trouble lately with edit feature sorry ) but im pushed for time right now.
Comment icon #45 Posted by Artaxerxes on 28 January, 2014, 18:22
Perhaps it has something to do with the human reproductive capacity? Over breeding. Too many people and limited arable land? A female human is capable of giving birth to 15 or so offspring in her lifetime. If half those offspring are female in their lifetime they could have 7.5 X 15 = 112 offspring and then in the next generation it would be 56 X 15 = 840, and so on. With no disease or predators in just a few generations they could easily outstrip the resources of the island and literally "eat the island." At first it would have been paradise but soon it would turn into a trap. Too many people... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by Myles on 28 January, 2014, 18:33
I meant North West to New Zealand. ( been having a bit of trouble lately with edit feature sorry ) but im pushed for time right now. No problem. They certainly came from a population of sea dwellers. You have to wonder if their skills deplinished through the years.
Comment icon #47 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 28 January, 2014, 19:00
Perhaps it has something to do with the human reproductive capacity? Over breeding. Too many people and limited arable land? A female human is capable of giving birth to 15 or so offspring in her lifetime. If half those offspring are female in their lifetime they could have 7.5 X 15 = 112 offspring and then in the next generation it would be 56 X 15 = 840, and so on. With no disease or predators in just a few generations they could easily outstrip the resources of the island and literally "eat the island." At first it would have been paradise but soon it would turn into a trap. Too many people... [More]
Comment icon #48 Posted by taniwha on 28 January, 2014, 19:21
No problem. They certainly came from a population of sea dwellers. You have to wonder if their skills deplinished through the years. Yes just like the Moai the ancient skills have eroded.
Comment icon #49 Posted by taniwha on 28 January, 2014, 22:45
Just to add Megalithic heads are not found in NZ. Bird motifs are. The close links that are known is the polynesian language of Rapa nui found its way here or maybe there. Also from what I understand the Antartic realm was known by the South Islands Rapu wai peoples, recounted in genealogical record or myth. There is no reason not to believe the same negative impacts of colonisation on Maori population in NZ also mirror that which was experienced on Rapa nui. Introduced disease and slavery. though doesnt account for deforestation.
Comment icon #50 Posted by aquatus1 on 29 January, 2014, 0:20
I will help people who need help.Think about this Thought about it. Still sounds like a really bad idea.
Comment icon #51 Posted by jeem on 30 January, 2014, 5:20
Yes that seems so much more likely than the other possibilities PS. I might have use a little bit of sarcasm above I was not serious either


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
James Webb telescope to undergo testing
3-30-2017
The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope is set to be placed inside a huge thermal vacuum chamber.
Tyrannosaurs used 'sixth sense' to hunt prey
3-30-2017
The giant two-legged carnivores of the Cretaceous had more than just big teeth and jaws in their arsenal.
'Miraculous' find of rare tigers in Thailand
3-30-2017
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of ten ultra-rare Indochinese tigers in Thailand's eastern jungle.
Man eats pancakes in the middle of the road
3-29-2017
A prankster was charged this week after being filmed tucking in to pancakes at a busy intersection.
Featured book
 
By Guy Lyon Playfair
A look at the story of Peggy Hodgson and her four children who, between 1977 and 1979, were at the center of one of the most terrifying poltergeist cases ever documented.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Man climbs stairs on his head
Posted 3-30-2017 | 4 comments
China's Li Longlong breaks a world record by climbing up a staircase standing on his head.
 
Bird of paradise courtship spectacle
Posted 3-29-2017 | 0 comments
A look at the extreme lengths birds of paradise go to in order to attract a mate.
 
Mythical monsters
Posted 3-28-2017 | 1 comment
Jeremy Wade investigates the stories behind some of the world's best known monster myths.
 
6ft rockets in slow motion
Posted 3-27-2017 | 0 comments
The Slo Mo Guys use their high-speed camera to record some rocket launches.
 
Most watched animal on YouTube
Posted 3-26-2017 | 2 comments
Maru the cat has accumulated more views than any other animal on the video sharing site.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Am I going crazy ?
3-30-2017 | South Africa
 
 
Sleep paralysis or my father ?
3-30-2017 | Los Angeles
 
My nightly occurrences
2-28-2017 | Manchester, UK
 
Saved by a stranger
2-7-2017 | Green River Wyoming
 
Spooky sense
2-4-2017 | India
 
Ghost car
2-4-2017 | Chicago, IL, USA
 
Mysterious powder
2-4-2017 | USA, North Carolina
 
Puerto Rico UFO sighting
2-4-2017 | Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico
 
Phantom vehicle
1-6-2017 | Ramer, United States
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ