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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Known locally as Ra·pa Nu·i (räˈpə no͞oˈē)Easter Island An island of Chile in the southern Pacific Ocean about 3,701 km (2,300 mi) west of the mainland. Inhabited by Polynesians since the fifth century A.D. and encountered by Dutch explorers on Easter Day, 1722, the island is famous for its hieroglyphic tablets and colossal heads carved from volcanic rock, which were probably produced by the Polynesian inhabitants during a period from roughly 1000 to 1600.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. An island in the south Pacific, belonging to Chile famous for its moai monuments.


The name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday 1722. Roggeveen named it Paasch-Eyland (18th century Dutch for "Easter Island"). The island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua, also means "Easter Island". (Wiktionary)


  • Rapa Nui is commonly known as Easter Island and is distinguished by ancient monoliths with faces.

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  • But despite the latest totemic rebranding, it is still most popularly known as Easter Island, from the auspicious Sunday when Dutch explorer Admiral Jakob Roggeveen dropped anchor in 1722.

    Richard Bangs: Skullduggery on Easter Island (Part I of II)

  • Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is one of the more famous islands on Earth.

    Rapa Nui and Sala-y-Gomez subtropical broadleaf forests

  • And recently I was in Easter Island, which is an incredibly beautiful place, and an incredibly mysterious place, because no matter where you go in Easter Island, you're struck by these statues, called the moai.

    Nathan Myhrvold on archeology, animal photography, BBQ ...

  • Nineteenth century immigrants carried the tree from India to Fiji, and it has since spread to other islands in the South Pacific, even to Easter Island, which is hardly known as a place for trees.

    9 Reforestation

  • Leaving Mas-a-Fuero, Byron changed his route, with the intention of seeking Davis Land, now known as Easter Island, which was placed by geographers in 27 degrees 30 minutes, a hundred leagues westward of the American coast.

    Celebrated Travels and Travellers Part 2. The Great Navigators of the Eighteenth Century

  • Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island, is about 2000 miles from both Chile and Tahiti, which pretty much situates it in the middle of nowhere, suggests author Lisa Shusterman.

  • Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said it was heading towards Easter Island, which is being evacuated.


  • In some locations such as Easter Island and Hawaii the majority of macroscopic species that existed as recently as the mid-Holocene are now extirpated.


  • Jared Diamond, meanwhile, has chronicled the rise and fall of a number of societies, such as Easter Island, because of the locust-like tendency of humans to breed, devour everything in sight, and then die.

    John Feffer: Overpopulation: Overhyped


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