Easter Island (Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui); (Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian triangle. A special territory of Chile annexed in 1888, Easter Island is widely famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai (pronounced /ˈmoʊ.аɪ/), created by the early Rapanui people. It is a world heritage site with much of the island protected within the Rapa Nui National Park. Historically the island has experienced a collapse of its ecosystem, with extinction of many of its prehistoric species; these events were associated with over-exploitation of the island’s resources. The underlying island geology is one of extinct volcanoes.
The history of Easter Island is rich and controversial. Its inhabitants have endured famines, epidemics, civil war, slave raids and colonialism, and the crash of their ecosystem; their population has declined precipitously more than once. They have left a cultural legacy that has brought them fame disproportionate to their population.