Ocean. This land, named appropriately, Easter Island, revealed a remarkable and disconcerting sight to the explorers. Standing astride the shoreline were hundreds of massive stone fi gurines, as much as 65 feet in height and weighing up to 270 tons (Diamond 2005; Ponting 2007). Clearly the result of a relatively advanced civilization, these statues stood in marked contrast to the decay and desolation that surrounded them. The island’s inhabitants were reduced to living in caves or reed huts and verging on the brink of extinction from starvation.