Easter Island's iconic statues are disappearing — and so is the island

Easter Island.
(Image credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

Easter Island is the latest victim of climate change — and it has more than its iconic statues to lose. A dynamic visual story published Thursday by The New York Times reveals the remote island's dire circumstances.

Rising sea levels are eroding the island, putting its archaeological treasures at risk. Most of the moai — the giant stone heads the island is known for — and nearly all of the ahu — the moai platforms that often double as tombs — line the island's coasts. Some are only yards away from the ocean, and it's becoming common to find human bones resurrected by swelling waves.

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