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Replica Easter Island head.

Parking Lot Moais

Field review by the editors.

Rock Springs, Wyoming

Hailed in their time as the world's most accurate replicas of Easter Island heads, these two nine-ton concrete monoliths were created in 1987 from molds made by local artist Gregory Gaylor. They were the brainstorm of Western Wyoming Community College anthropology professor Charlie Love. Photos from the time show the bolted-together molds being filled from the top of the head with concrete from a cement mixer truck, as the professor supervised from an adjacent scaffold.

Love, who had spent a year on Easter Island as an anthropologist and geologist, designed the heads to be as precise as possible to test his theory about how the island people had moved them. Once the concrete in the statues had hardened, one team of volunteers tried to "walk" its upright state like a refrigerator, while a second used sled runners and log rollers. The second approach proved successful. The experiment, filmed by the BBC and later used in a NOVA science special, made Love famous, at least among anthropologists. His "Charlie Love Theory" of statue movement briefly became a favorite of Easter Island scholars, until critics pointed out that the topography of Easter Island is more unforgiving than that of a college campus in Wyoming. The exact method of moai locomotion remains elusive.

Replica Easter Island head.

Today, the Easter Island heads still stand on the campus where the experiment left them in 1987.

Parking Lot Moais

Western Wyoming Community College

Address:
2500 College Dr, Rock Springs, WY
Directions:
Drive to college entrance parking lot -- the head is in front of buildings. To reach the other one, exit the main parking lot and drive north/clockwise to the back parking lot [41.59051, -109.234438].
RA Rates:
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