Chile is most famous for Easter Island. Easter Island is located thousands of miles off the mainland. It is known for its moai, which are large stone statues of heads.
Because it is so remote, and because there is very little documented about the island's history, Easter Island is still somewhat of a mystery to historians and archaeologists. The population of the island never exceeded 10,000, and depletion of natural resources once caused the population to drop to 100. Today, the population of the island is steady at around 3,000 people. The history of the island is further complicated by the fact that the native inhabitants are not quite sure how they got there or why. Some legends describe a Polynesian ancestor as the first to settle on the island. Other legends credit the ancestry of the native people to South Americans. Most people who travel to the island do so to see the moai, which are large human statues carved from stone. The average moai weighs 14 tons and stands 13 feet high. Not all of the statues are completed, and the significance of the statues and why so many of them were carved remain unclear. It is believed that the statues were very important to the people, because the depletion of the island's resources are attributed to the creation of the statues. Easter Island is also known as Rapa Nui National Park.