Easter Island is located in the Pacific Ocean. It is very remote and part of Chile.
It is located 2,300 miles off the west coast of Chile; Easter Island is the world's most isolated inhabited island. It is owned by Chile. The island is about 15 miles long and almost 8 miles across where it is the widest. It’s shaped like a triangle.
In 1722 Dutch Admiral Jacob Roggeveen found the island. He named it Easter Island because it was Easter Sunday when he found the island. He was looking for a different island at the time. He thought there was about two or three thousand natives living on the island when he got there.
The island's native name is Rapa Nui. It is a Polynesian name and that’s what the people living there today call it too. They also call it Isla de Pascua which means Easter Island. The people who live there are called Rapanui.
Easter Island is famous for the large rock heads stuck in the ground facing the ocean. The heads are called moai. They are huge figures carved of volcanic rock. No one knows why they were carved. There are 70 heads left standing, in an area of the island called Rano Raraku. The broken pieces of over 150 other heads are in a volcanic crater close by. No one knows how the natives got the big heavy heads from the crater and in position. Some people think there was extra terrestrial help.
Today, all of the residents of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, live in the town of Hanga Roa. If you go visit the island you can drive from Hanga Roa all around the island in just one day. Visit Rano Raraku to examine the famous and mysterious carved heads. Maybe you can solve the mystery of the heads of Easter Island!