Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.
Polynesian people settled on Easter Island in the first millennium CE, and created a thriving culture, as evidenced by the moai and other artifacts. However, human activity, the introduction of the Polynesian rat and overpopulation led to gradual deforestation and extinction of natural resources, which caused the demise of the Rapa Nui civilization.
Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world.The nearest inhabited land (around 50 residents) is Pitcairn Island, 2.075 kilometres away; the nearest town with a population over 500 is Rikitea, on the island of Mangareva, 2.606 km away; the nearest continental point lies in central Chile, 3.512 km away.
Easter Island is a special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888. Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, and, more specifically, it is the only commune of the Province Isla de Pascua.