A dear friend of the volcano club asked me the write about Chilean volcanoes and after some brief research I'm decided to focus on Easter Island. Which being not being mainland Chile may not be want was wanted but fuck it, it's my blog (aforementioned dear friend is a fan of VCs 'insane amount of swearing'). I didn't really know much about Easter Island apart from the obvious 'blah blah blah shit loads of massive heads blah blah blah how the fuck did they get there blah blah', but there is actually way more interesting stuff than all that bollocks. Such as the island is volcanic and has really interesting vegetation, I suppose that this is quite obvious it being in the middle of the Pacific. The map of the island is very pleasing because it's a nice triangle shape and the three corners have volcanoes in, presumably how the island was formed. All the volcanoes on the island are extinct, the largest is Terevaka, top of the map and is under 4000,000 years old and according to wikipedia easy to walk up, which sounds like a laugh. The island (and volcanic activity) is the result of being between the Nazcar and Pacific plates creating the Easter hotspot, which it's what I'm going to call the VC Easter weekend event.
As I'm sure everyone is aware Easter Island is in the middle of fucking nowhere, the closest inhabited island is Pitcairn which is also in the middle of fucking nowhere. Around 6,000 people live on the island, the island was probably populated around 1000CE with people travelling by canoe from around 2,000 miles away (most probably because they were absolutely mental). After settling the island went through a period of habitat degradation and deforestation (where was REDD when you needed it, little forestry joke for you there), this was caused by clearing and the introduction of the Polynesian rat. Many of the indigenous trees are now completely extinct or extinct in the wild like the toromiro tree which they are trying to reintroduce to the island. Birdman or Tangata Manu cults existed on the island, where members of each clan had to collect the first tern egg of the season from the 3.9 hectare island Moto Nui (bottom left on the map) and swim back to Rapa Nui (Polynesian name for easter island), the winner got to do loads of cool shit for the next year. To get back to the island the contestants had to climb the Orongo volcano and then lead a procession to a beach on the west or to another volcano on the east of the island. The practised was stopped by Christians in the 1860s, then the islanders went through a really shit time with Peruvian slave raiders and small pox. The indigenuous population decreased by 97% in 10 years. There were over 800 statues or Moai found on the island which are made from volcanic ash or tuff (which is easy to work with). Islanders didn't get Chilean citizenship until 1966.
Toromiro tree (above) and Rano Raraku (below)
So that's some shit about Easter Island which is pretty cool, there is more interesting stuff about the island like the indigenous rights movement and its the only place they've ever found Polynesian script. But I can't be fucked to write about that now. I might write about more Chilean volcanoes as they do look interesting or more Pacific islands soon.