Many people often refer to them simply as “Easter Island statues” or “Easter Island heads” but the giant humanoid statues on Polynesia’s Easter Island are actually called moai. Carved by the native Rapa Nui people, the moai are 13 feet tall and nearly 14 tons on average, and have stood on the island since they were originally built sometime between the years 1250 and 1500. There are almost 900 of them left, and this past week they were just designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the platforms, called ahu, they stand on; Rapa Nui National Park received this designation in 1995.
The fact that the moai have lasted for so many centuries is a good sign, pointing to them standing for many centuries more to come. However, a collaboration between two companies is now working to ensure that they are further preserved in digital form.